Google to build gigantic “120-megawatt” data center in the Netherlands

Google is set to build an enormous data center in Eemshaven, in the Dutch province of Groningen. It will invest €600 million ($772 million) in the project over four years.

The company already uses a TCN-owned, 20-megawatt data center in Eemshaven, which pitches itself as an ideal location for such things – it has access to many kinds of renewable energy (which Google says it will use), it’s a landing station for international internet cables, and it has a mild climate that’s conducive to cheaper cooling (the data center will be “free cooled”, using cold air and so-called gray water.)

According to a Google blog post, the company will continue using its rented facility in Eemshaven. The new data center will create around 150 permanent jobs in Groningen. Construction will begin in 2016 and the facility should be fully operational by the end of 2017. [company]Apple[/company] has also reportedly considered siting a new data center there, and [company]Microsoft[/company] is also building a large new data center in Middenmeer, Noord-Holland.

Local reports such as those in De Telegraaf suggested that this will be a 120-megawatt data center, which would be quite a beast, though Google itself has not disclosed such figures. Sources close to the matter tell me that the megawattage has not yet been definitively decided at this early stage of development.

[company]Google[/company] already has three major European data centers of its own: in Hamina, Finland; St. Ghislain, Belgium; and Dublin, Ireland. The need to build out capacity in Europe comes not only from requirements for low latency from Google’s streaming media services, but also from unease — particularly among enterprise customers — over using services that are based in the U.S., due to the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

This article was updated at 10.30am PT to include reference to the Google blog post, and again on 26 September to note that the 120-megawatt figure does not come from Google itself.