Google breaks ground at Bridgeport data center

Google breaks ground at Bridgeport data center

Construction is underway for a $600 million internet data center in Jackson County.

Google broke ground on the 500 acre site.

Almost three years after Google first announced plans to build a data center in Alabama, the search engine giant said Monday it expects to finish the first phase of the $600 million project on a portion of what was once one of TVA's biggest coal plants.

The data center has been eagerly awaited by a community hit by the loss of a power plant that, at its peak, employed hundreds of people.

"This is the best part of my job", Google Site Leader Brenda Standridge said as STEM students appeared with Google and state officials in a make-shift stage overlooking the construction site where work is underway for the data center.

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Gov. Kay Ivey speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Google data center in Bridgeport. "Hopefully, it will help with jobs", said Jackson County Schools Superintendent Kevin Dukes. "Google's newest facility on the site of TVA's former fossil plant at Widows Creek ensures that this storied location continues to be a landmark for technology and economic development for the people of North Alabama".

"Just glad Google's here and we're going to love 'em to death!" said Mayor Hughes. The company said the center will create between 75 and 100 highly technical jobs, with potential for growth in the future. We are trying to work with everybody.

Google also said its Jackson County data center will feature state-of-the-art energy efficiency. The state has approved a new program that allows companies such as Walmart, Target, and Johnson & Johnson, to buy renewable energy directly from Georgia Power. Google's data centers are 50 percent more energy efficient than the industry standard.

"Bridgeport is just the ideal balance of land, power, water and a great community for the workforce", said Brenda Standridge, Google's Alabama project manager. Google is a generous supporter of schools, and the company's presence will help us recruit other high-tech companies.

"No doubt about it - this a game-changer for us".

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