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Google chooses retired coal site for its next data centre

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World Coal,

Google has chosen to build its newest data centre – 14th in the world – at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Widows Creek coal plant site, once the coal plant ceases operation. The board of directors at TVA approved the closure of Widows Creek, after the release of the EPA's coal combustion rules requiring additional environmental and financial requirements.

TVA's President and CEO, Bill Johnson, said: "The coal plant will be in operation for a few more months and we appreciate the hard-working employees who remain dedicated to generating electricity safely at Widows Creek.”

"This is a big day for TVA," Johnson said. "The partnership between the Alabama Department of Commerce, Jackson County Economic Development Authority and TVA helped secure an innovative, global technology company to the Valley."

"Google could have located their next data centre anywhere in the world, but they chose this site. What began as a power generation facility will now become a data centre, harnessing the power of the Internet to connect people all over the world," Johnson added.

"Selecting the Widows Creek site to build our newest data centre came after an extensive search," said Gary Demasi, Director of Data Center Energy and Location Strategy for Google. "The idea of repurposing a former coal generating site and powering our new facility with renewable energy – especially reliable, affordable energy that we can count on 24/7 with the existing infrastructure in place – was attractive."

Google will spend US$600 million on this investment and open up jobs to northern Alabama and the TVA region.

Edited from Press Release by Harleigh Hobbs

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