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14 Jul 2022
Another hyperscaler buys land in Europe to build a huge data center despite blowback from local communities
In the Dutch province of Groningen, Google plans to build a data center west of the small village of Hoogkerk. A 20-hectare plot of land was purchased from the municipality of Groningen by the tech company.
Local communities in The Netherlands and other European countries like Germany oppose these huge facilities. A few weeks ago, activists successfully challenged Meta's plans to build a large data center in The Netherlands. They believe that hyper scale data centers use too much energy, consume too much water, and take up valuable agricultural land.
Google's new data center has been in the works for some time. Data centers have been welcomed in Groningen for some time now. According to Google, it is a "small-scale satellite facility". The company will apply for an environmental permit after signing the purchase agreement, according to a local news source. Construction is already scheduled to begin in the autumn of 2023, so that seems like a formality.
The tech giant plans to build two facilities of this type in the province. These satellite facilities will serve as backup for Google's existing, much larger datacenter in Eemshaven. Another satellite will be located in Oldambt. The buildings cover eight hectares and each consumes 65 megawatts of energy. Thus, the plans are below what is considered a hyperscaler (10 hectares and 70 megawatts) by the Dutch government. Only two municipalities in the Netherlands are allowed to build this type of data center: Groningen's Hogeland and North Holland's Hollands Kroon. The latter municipality has already indicated that they do not want yet another hyperscale facility in their community.
Photo credit: Aabir Ahammed
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