New Google data center in Middenmeer operational from this week

Research: Google’s data center investments in the Netherlands provide an average of 3400 jobs annually.

Google’s data center investments in the Netherlands have made a positive contribution of EUR 3.6 billion to the Dutch economy between 2014 and 2019. This is according to research by consultancy Copenhagen Economics published today. During that period, Google invested EUR 2 billion in data center capacity in the Netherlands. On average, the arrival of these data centers has supported 3,400 jobs per year between 2014 and 2019. Exactly four years ago, the first data center, in Eemshaven, was opened by Google. The second data center, in Middenmeer, has also been operational since this week.

Martijn Bertisen, country manager Google Netherlands: “We are delighted that our datacenter in Middenmeer is now operational. We see that consumers and businesses are increasingly using online services, and this trend has even accelerated in recent times. That is why we invest in a digital infrastructure that works for everyone. Our total data center investment in the Netherlands is now EUR 2.5 billion, with which we also contribute to local employment and the economy.’

Renewable energy

To keep energy consumption as low as possible, Google designs and builds data centers in a way that optimizes energy consumption in every part of the data center. Bertisen: ‘Of course we follow the discussions about data centers and energy consumption in the Netherlands and we understand the questions about it. I would therefore like to emphasize that we have been able to make data centers more and more efficient. Compared to five years ago, Google now gets about 7 times as much computing power from the same amount of energy and the Google data centers are among the most energy-efficient data centers worldwide.”

The energy consumption of Google’s data centers is matched 1 on 1 with renewable energy. In addition, Google supports projects that are complementary to the existing sustainable energy supply in the Netherlands and makes these possible. In total, Google has four renewable energy supply agreements in the Netherlands, representing approximately 130 MW of capacity. In addition to the agreement for the energy supply of a wind farm and a solar farm in Delfzijl, agreements have been signed to purchase wind energy from two wind farms in Zeeland: Krammer (the largest citizens’ initiative in the Netherlands) and Bouwdokken (partly owned by cooperative Zeewind), purchased together as a consortium. with DSM, AkzoNobel and Philips.

Impact on the Dutch economy and jobs

In total, Google has now invested 2.5 billion euros in data center capacity in the Netherlands, of which 2 billion euros has been realized for 2020. In addition to the construction of the new data center in Eemshaven, the existing data center in Eemshaven is currently being expanded. This expansion is expected to be completed in early 2021. The Copenhagen Economics study shows that investments created an average of 3,400 jobs per year in the period 2014-2019. Some data about employment:

  • Employment for 125 people within the data centers in Middenmeer and approximately 350 people in Eemshaven after the expansion.
  • The construction and operation of the data centers support jobs in a wide part of the national economy through value chain and consumption effects; this supports employment in various sectors such as construction (approximately 1,380 FTE per year), telecom, security and business support, as well as private service sectors (e.g. retail, transport, hotels and restaurants, real estate, legal, accounting and employment).

Support for local projects

Since the opening of the data center in Eemshaven, Google has financially supported 23 NGOs in the Groningen region with Datacenter Community Grants, for a total amount of more than EUR 1 million. The activities of these projects ranged from developing educational games to learning about beekeeping and inspiring children in science and technology.

In the area around Middenmeer, three projects have now been supported by the ROC Kop van Noord Holland, in which skills training for jobs in several areas is central:

  • Cooling Systems Training Centre: ROC Kop van Noord Holland has included climate control in their courses at the Technology Campus in Den Helder.
  • IoT Exploration Academy: The university has 3 levels of education at their in-house school in Schagen, all three overlap with the work description of a data center engineer.
  • High Voltage Training Operational Level: The training at the Nautical College provides students with essential knowledge of high voltage installations (HV).

Google also connects ROC Kop van Noord Holland with colleges in Groningen and across Europe to learn from initiatives taking place in the field of data center skills training. In addition, Google is working with the Dutch Data Center Association to establish two nationally approved data center skills curricula, which ROCs from Groningen have adopted. We hope that this will also be realized in Middenmeer next year.