Google expands in North Carolina

Governor Pat McCrory, along with U.S. Representative Mark Meadows, N.C. Senator Dan Soucek, N.C. Representative Edgar Starnes (Majority Leader), Duke Energy State President Paul Newton and Google Operations Manager Enoch Moeller announced on April 19 that Google will invest an additional $600 million in the Lenoir data center site.

“It is great news for Caldwell County and our state that Google has decided to expand its operations in western North Carolina,” said McCrory. “They are a valuable economic resource in the area and a great example of a company that prioritizes environmental stewardship.”

The announcement brings Google’s total investment to more than $1.2 billion and aligns with Google’s goals to provide the best possible user experience. The data center in Caldwell County houses computer systems and associated components that support Google search, Gmail, Google+ and YouTube. As demand for Google’s services increase, capacity must grow to meet this demand.

Google is committed to running a sustainable business and maximizing the use of renewable energy at its facilities. As part of this commitment, Google plans to participate in a new program Duke Energy is developing for large customers that wish to buy renewable energy. The renewable energy option will be voluntary and will not affect the rates of other customers. Duke Energy will make a regulatory filing proposing the new program with the N.C. Utilities Commission in the next 90 days.

Google operates some of the world’s most efficient data centers – facilities that consume 50 percent less energy than the typical data center. In 2007, Google made a voluntary commitment to become carbon neutral and to reach this goal, the company strives for efficiency and sustainable business practices. The company has pursued a range of approaches to maximize its renewable energy use, including on-site generation at its corporate headquarters and long-term agreements to buy power directly from wind farm developers. In addition to procuring renewable energy for its operations, Google has committed more than $1 billion to renewable energy investments, which can generate enough electricity each year to power 500,000 U.S. households.

Google first announced plans for a North Carolina data center in 2007 and made an initial investment of $600 million to get the center up and running. In November 2010, Google announced plans to construct a second building at the site, and it is now operational. Read more.