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Google is building two more data centers in central Ohio




Photo by Alex Dudar on Unsplash

Google is adding two new data centers in Columbus and Lancaster, bringing the tech company’s total investment in Ohio to more than $2 billion.

This will bring Ohio’s total to three Google data centers, joining the one in New Albany that broke ground in 2019.

“This is great news,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said. “Google making this decision, I think, just sends a really strong signal that Ohio continues to move forward. Having three data centers in close proximity to each other is very unusual.”

Google currently has 24 data centers in 13 states and nine different countries.

The tech company purchased land in Columbus and Lancaster for the data centers in 2021. The addresses for data center in Columbus is 5076 South High St. and 105 Whiley Rd., west of U.S. 33 in Lancaster. Construction has already started, but there is currently no timeline on the opening of the data centers.

More jobs in Ohio

The additional data centers mean more construction, more construction jobs and ultimately more jobs in Ohio, DeWine said.

“We’re very, very grateful for that,” he said. “The truth is when you put smart people together and educated people together, guess what happens? They attract more smart and educated people.”

This sends a message to Ohio students that they can have high-tech jobs in the Buckeye State after graduating, said U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson, R-OH.

“We don’t have to go to California or to the East Coast for high-paying jobs in technology,” Balderson said. “Central Ohio offers the same and better opportunities for those technologies to be driven here.”

He said technology is important for everyone, but “it’s especially important for the rural communities,” he said.

Artificial intelligence

The data centers will help Google’s artificial intelligence efforts, said Mark Isakowitz, Google’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy for the U.S. and Canada.

“Once completed, these data centers will help power not only AI innovation, but tools you use everyday like search, gmail and maps,” said Isakowitz, who grew up in Cleveland and attended Ohio State University.

This announcement comes after the “Godfather of AI” Geoffrey Hinton quit his job at Google earlier this week so he could speak freely about the potential risks of AI.

“The future is very bright”

The mayors of Columbus and Lancaster praised the data centers.

“Google is playing a big part in making the region a hub for cloud computing and priming the region for even more development,” Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said. “The future is very bright in Columbus and central Ohio.”

Lancaster is ready for the data center, said Mayor David Scheffler.

“We are a pro-business community; we have the infrastructure and we have the people,” he said. “We are excited to welcome Google to our community.”

Google will be joined in central Ohio by Silicon Valley semiconductor maker Intel, who picked Licking County in 2021 to build a new microchip factory.

“Google was one of the first tech companies to recognize central Ohio’s potential,” Balderson said. “Your commitment to this community has led the way for others to make investments here.”

This story was republished from the Ohio Capital Journal under a Creative Commons license.

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