Google to invest €150m in massive data centre expansion in Dublin

8 May 2018

Google data centre in Dublin. Image: Noah Kalina

A new data centre investment will bring Google’s total capital spend in Dublin since 2003 to €1bn.

Google is to expand its data centre infrastructure in Ireland as part of a €150m investment that will create 400 jobs at peak construction.

The expansion of Google’s second data centre at Grange Castle in south Dublin will bring the company’s total investment in its Irish data centres to €500m, out of a total capital investment in Dublin of €1bn.

The expansion will add considerably to Google’s presence in Dublin where it employs an estimated 7,000 people directly and indirectly.

“15 years after first establishing an office here in Ireland, today’s announcement is a testament to Google’s ongoing commitment to Ireland as a key hub for its operations,” said Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD.

Economic impact of Google data centres

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Inside one of the two Google data centres in Dublin. Image: Google

Between 2011 and 2017, Google’s data centre park in south Dublin represented €350m of direct investment in terms of construction and operations, according to a report from Copenhagen Economics.

The data centres contribute an average of €55m annually – or a total of €400m – to Ireland’s GDP.

The impact of the data centres in Ireland can also be measured by a total of 4,900 jobs or 700 new jobs per year, both directly and indirectly.

“Our data centres are essential to our operations both in Ireland and across the larger EMEA region, allowing consumers and business to use our cloud-based tools and software far more efficiently and effectively,” explained Terence McGoff, engineering director at Google.

“This investment shows our continued commitment to Ireland as a key driver for the whole EMEA region, and we’re proud to see that total capital investment by Google in Ireland has reached a total of €1bn since we first opened an office here in Dublin 15 years ago.”

According to Denis Browne, Google’s EU regional data centre lead, Dublin is a key site in the internet giant’s family of data centres. The sites power cloud-based services such as Gmail, Maps and YouTube to run efficiently across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

It is worth noting that Google as a company only came into existence in 1998 – five years prior to landing an office in Dublin – when its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, maxed out credit cards for server space to prove their project while students at Stanford.

Today’s Google data centres are leaders in terms of high energy-efficiency and the use of renewable energy.

“Our data centres are designed to be highly energy-efficient. For example, our data centre here in Dublin uses advanced air-cooling technologies, taking advantage of our country’s ‘temperate climate’ to regulate the temperature of the servers,” Browne explained.

“Efforts such as this are vital to our ongoing environmental initiatives, such as our recent global achievement of purchasing enough renewable energy to match all the electricity we consumed last year, as well as maintaining our long-established carbon neutral status – something we’re very proud to have held continuously since 2007.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years