Google Pours $1.1B Into Finland Data Center To Boost AI And Sustainability

Google continues to invest billions across the globe to expand its data center reach, as well as its AI and sustainability technology, unveiling a $1.1 billion investment Monday in its Finland data center campus.

Google is investing $1.1 billion to significantly expand its Finland data center campus in a move to drive artificial intelligence and hit its goal of achieving net-zero emissions across all operations by 2030.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google invests billions of dollars into data center expansion efforts on a global basis each year to increase its customer reach and better power the massive amount of AI solutions it has been launching over the past 18 months.

Google Cloud is the cloud computing arm for parent company Google. Google Cloud is the focal point of all of Google’s AI efforts, including new AI products and generative AI partner programs, as the cloud company now has an annual run rate of over $38 billion.

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Worldwide data center power consumption is expected to massively increase because of the surge in AI usage, which Google said is one of the reasons behind the $1.1 billion investment in its Finland’s data center located in Hamina.

Google’s AI Sustainability Effort In ‘District Heating’ Technology

The $1.1 billion investment in its Finland data center is part of Google’s initiative to achieve net- zero emissions across all of its operations and value chain by 2030, supported by an ambitious clean energy goal to run all its offices and data centers on 24x7 carbon-free energy.

In Finland, Google will work with local utilities to feed excess heat into the network of pipes that is used to warm residential homes in the area. The technology is called “district heating” and will help guide future Google investments.

“We are kicking off our first off-site heat recovery project to reduce our environmental footprint, as well as help warm homes and businesses in this historic port city,” said Ben Townsend, global head of Google’s Infrastructure, strategy and sustainability, in a blog post Monday referring to its new Finland data center project.

“Heat coming out of our Finnish data center will be re-routed and provided free of charge by us to the district heating network in nearby Hamina, covering local households, schools and public service buildings,” said Townsend (pictured). “To date, the heat from Google’s Hamina data center has been captured and recovered to heat the offices and buildings on-site. Starting next year, the warm temperature coming from the data center will be recovered to optimize the district heating network energy efficiency and carbon emissions footprint.”

Google Cloud 2024 Data Center Investments

Google Cloud has been pouring billions into building new data centers in the U.S. and overseas.

In April, Google said it will build a new data center in the Netherlands for $640 million.

In addition, Google recently broke ground on a new data center campus in Belgium that will reportedly cost roughly $1 billion, in addition to expanding its existing data center in Belgium.

Google Cloud reported total sales of $9.6 billion for the first quarter of 2024, representing a year-over-year sales increase of 28 percent. The company is currently the world’s third largest cloud company, owning 11 percent share of the global cloud computing market.