Just over two years ago, Google announced it would convert a 1,300-sq ft former Hemlock Semiconductor facility in Clarksville, Tennessee into a new $600 million data center. Today, the search giant broke ground on the site — and Google CEO Sundar Pichai used the opportunity to announce the company will invest $2.5 billion to open new facilities or expand existing ones in 14 states.
In addition to the upcoming Clarksville facility, part of the $2.5 billion will go to opening or expanding data centers in Alabama, Oregon, Virginia and Oklahoma. The company will create or add to offices in nine other states: California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. The expansion plan will add thousands of jobs and bring Google’s operations to a total of 21 states and six data centers.
Google planned the Clarksville site to be a model of efficiency, and purchased enough renewable energy to offset 100 percent of its electricity use, in keeping with the company’s aspirations. Today, Pichai added that the company is donating $300,000 in grant money to Goodwill of Middle Tennessee to add digital skills training to its workforce-development program.