Google invests $1.1 billion in Finnish data centre expansion for AI growth

Finland’s cool climate, tax breaks, and abundant renewable power make it an attractive location for data centres.

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Google has revealed plans to inject an additional $1.1 billion into its data centre campus expansion in Finland, emphasising its commitment to bolstering its AI business growth in Europe. The investment aligns with a broader trend of locating data centres in the Nordic region due to factors like the favourable climate, tax incentives, and abundant renewable energy sources.

While some Nordic countries have become more apprehensive about hosting data centres, Finland’s wind power capacity surge has left ample room for expansion. With a staggering 75% increase in wind power capacity in 2022 alone, Finland boasts a surplus of renewable energy, even witnessing negative pricing on windy days. Google secures its renewable energy needs through long-term contracts in Finland, ensuring sustainable operations for its data centres.

Why does it matter?

The exponential rise in AI usage is anticipated to drive a global power consumption surge for data centres. Google’s investment decision in Finland underscores its recognition of this trend, alongside its commitment to sustainability. Notably, Google’s Hamina data centre in Finland already operates with 97% carbon-free energy, with excess heat being redirected to the district heating network, benefiting local communities.

The investment is part of Google’s broader strategy to expand its data centre footprint in Europe, with recent announcements about new data centre constructions in the Netherlands and Belgium. Google’s ambitious sustainability goals aim for net-zero emissions across its operations and value chain by 2030, reflecting its proactive approach towards environmental responsibility and technological advancement.