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Google: Plans For $600M Data Center in North Carolina

     
10:41 am on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google Inc. plans to spend up to $600 million to build a data center in North Carolina, state officials and the company said Friday.

The so-called "server farm" will eventually employ 210 people in a region hit hard in recent years by layoffs in the furniture and textile industries.

Plans For $600M Data Center in North Carolina [syracuse.com]

11:19 am on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This is sweet. There have been rumors for a long time that Google was coming here and the economy here has been depressed for a long time ... I mean, you can buy a 3 bedroom 1 bathroom house for $24,000 in Lenior. And no, I didn't leave a zero out of there.

I guess Google knows something that I don't because I have been here since August and have been trying to expand my business here but have found there is a big shortage of good, technical people.

Doing the "CaboWabo" in Hickory, North Carolina

2:17 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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FedEx largest hub, DELL assembly plant, SONY world distribution center, now Google in the Triad or Triangle (depending where they settle), now THAT's quite a replacement for Burlington, Renfro and Gilford Mills.
2:31 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>> now Google

let's not forget once built, it will "only" employ about 200 people. It beats nothing, but it's not a lot. I hope at least more people get a construction job during the period.

2:52 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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200 employees will mean over 500 people in the area. They will need homes, cars, food, etc. It will be a nice boost to the area. But, North Carolina is a big state--I wonder where it will be.
3:47 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The site is in western North Carolina in Lenior as I stated above ... about three hours west of the Research Triangle, and about an hour north of Charlotte. Here is a link to the local story ...

[hickoryrecord.com...]

While Google may get incentives of up to $100 million in the deal, they still have to staff it. I don't see how they are going to train the local hillbillies (er, Appalachian Americans) to be technicians.

This is great news for the area though - I'm taking the 20 minute drive to check on available real estate as an investment.

Cheers!

4:44 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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after thinking a bit more:

that $600 mil will make Verizon, ATT, banks, stores etc. to open offices /hire people to support G's need for services so this is bigger deal than I originally thought.

As far as finding talent: many are willing to relocate for a good job.

5:54 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Further detail in the International Herald Tribune:

RALEIGH, North Carolina: Search engine giant Google Inc. plans to spend up to $600 million (463 million) to build a data center in North Carolina, state officials and the company said Friday.

The so-called "server farm" could eventually employ 210 people in a region hit hard in recent years by layoffs in the furniture and textile industries.

"This company will provide hundreds of good-paying, knowledge-based jobs that North Carolina's citizens want," Gov. Mike Easley said in a statement. "It will help reinvigorate an area hard hit by the loss of furniture and textile jobs with 21st century opportunities."

The state will give the company $4.8 million (3.7 million) as part of a total incentives package that could reach more than $100 million (77 million).

"The data center we're planning to build ... will help support continued growth in our online services," said Lloyd Taylor, director of global operations for Mountain View, California-based Google.

Google plans to build the center in Lenoir, a city of 60,000 about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Charlotte. The average annual salary at the data center is expected to be $48,300 (37,274).

The recruitment of Google is the second high-tech score for the state's economic developers since 2004, when both the state and local governments gave Dell Inc. $280 million (216 million) worth of incentives to build a computer plant in Winston-Salem. The Dell plant opened in October 2005.

International Herald Tribune [iht.com]

6:01 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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That is a lot of search engine muscle, other than msn or yahoo, who else can even dream of such a facility

Bravo google, hope the others keep up somehow

6:10 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how many of those 200 will be simply replacing hard drives. The DCs are meant to run fairly systematically now, if I've read correctly. 48k though is a fairly decent size for that area and should allow them to make some families rellocate.
7:10 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Is there a cheap source of electricy there? I remember reading an article about the cost savings of putting a data center near cheaper sources of energy and the cost savings involved:

Found this "the WSJ notes, "one large data center can consume enough juice to power a small city of 30,000 to 40,000 people." The WSJ goes on to point out that cutting as little as a penny per kilowatt-hour from electricity rates could reduce annual expenses by "millions of dollars."

7:15 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>> Is there a cheap source of electricy there?

:) I think that electricity os pretty much the same as gas, it may vary a few pennies here and there but that's about it. Plus, it maybe cheap today and go up tomorrow so I doubt G went there because of that.

Infrastructure already in place
Tax breaks
Labor
Diversification of DC locations etc. probably played the major role.

7:52 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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GOOG is building a data center near the Bonneville dam for that reason, a cheaper source of electricty. I'm sure labor prices and infrastructure play into it as well, but the article I remember reading focused on the fact that it was primarily because of the cheaper source of electricty.
12:39 am on Jan 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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...now Google in the Triad or Triangle (depending where they settle),...

Lenoir isn't in or near the Triad or the Triangle.

Is there a cheap source of electricy there?

The infrastructure is in place - it was there for the textile mills and furniture plants that have left or will soon be leaving.

FarmBoy

3:04 am on Jan 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Is there a cheap source of electricy there?

about 2.5 cents per kwh

9:12 am on Jan 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There is a reliable source of energy there i.e. it's very close. This article explains more about G's efforts to reduce risk by being very close to electricity generators:

[pbs.org...]

9:36 am on Jan 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There is a reliable source of energy there i.e. it's very close. This article explains more about G's efforts to reduce risk by being very close to electricity generators:

[pbs.org...]

Cringely's saying a lot more interesting stuff than just that though!

11:02 pm on Jan 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google Landing in Westren NC will help more than just having google but help bring in more tech business, just from the name and expanded infrostructure
1:25 am on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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When are they going to start hiring? I wish it was in triangle, 5 min drive from my place. I think Lenoir is a bad choice though, not a great place for high tech people.

Population (year 2000): 16,793.
Estimated population in July 2005: 17,912 (+6.7% change)
Males: 8,005 (47.7%), Females: 8,788 (52.3%)

From Wiki:

The median income for a household in the city was $29,369, and the median income for a family was $37,280. Males had a median income of $26,122 versus $21,895 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,697. About 10.4% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.4% of those under age 18 and 12.7% of those age 65 or over.

4:12 am on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hmmmm wonder if I should apply for a job there as it's not far from me? (I am great at cleaning and washing dishes)
8:44 am on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Who doesn't want to settle near Google in any form or shape. And who know's maybe they'll be offering services to nearby businesses as well.

Anyway, the sheer name will boost the image of an entire region just as the Triad and the Triangle have been served advantages by just being able to play the names of FedEx, Dell and other large growth businesses.

Corporate America settles in the cotton state and it is NOT a one time shot (as with Automotive in Spartenbrg, SC when BMW built their "city" there).

As one contributor wrote "time to check on the real estate situation"...

7:26 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The Cringely article - whoa! I love reading articles like that. I've sent some traffic his way since I read it.

[edited by: seoDre at 7:27 pm (utc) on Jan. 22, 2007]

8:40 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Let's all say "Yay"
2:57 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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well, you learn something new every day. Why would electricity be cheaper in some areas? regulation or...? I mean they are connected to the grid so the cost of transport for the power plant can't be that great?
12:39 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Walkman

Big energy users get a separate deal that the consumers get sometimes they eaven build the powerplant as part of a development.

An aluminium plant for example consumes a VAST amount of power.

Also the States power Grid isn't as developed as Europe so it makes more sense to move to cheap power.

Btw there was a RnD place near where I used to work that had a power station dedicated to it they used ring up the local station when they wanted the wind tunnel to run at a diferent speed.