Google has broken ground on its first data center campus in Norway.
“Now we are building a data center in Norway!,” Tine Austvoll Jensen, country director for Google Norway, announced on LinkedIn this week. “Today we have finally announced that we are investing €600 million ($646.4m) in the construction of a new data center in Skien. This will bring with it a number of positive ripple effects in the form of value creation and jobs both locally and nationally.”
Details about the size of the campus haven’t been shared, but the project is set to go live in 2026. For this first phase, Google has been allocated 240MW, according to a press release. The facility will also be ready to offer its waste heat.
This is the company’s first data center in the Nordic country. Google first announced plans for a Norwegian data center region in October 2022. The company didn’t share any further details at the time.
The company acquired some 200 hectares of land in Gromstul area of Skien, around 85 miles southwest of Oslo, around 2019.
Local press has said the seller was Leopold Løvenskiold, one of Norway's largest forest owners, and acquired the land for ‘hundreds of millions’ of Kroner [200m Kroner is currently equal to around $18m].
The search company signed a 170MW PPA with Telleness in Norway in 2017.
Marius Roheim Aarvold, mayor of Skien municipality, said: “We have been waiting anxiously for Google to make the decision to start construction of its first data center here in Skien. As a municipality, we are proud to have been chosen by Google to host their major investment in Norway. We look forward to continuing to work together to realize Gromstul as a new, regional industrial area for data center operations, which is a prerequisite for our digital society.”
The project made headlines last year, with some reports suggesting the campus would require up to 860MW. This was, however, disputed by the Mayor, who said that figure was a long-term prediction for the whole area and not just the tech giant's energy needs.
At the time, Mayor Aarvold said the campus' initial phases would comprise 20MW and then 100MW, with plans for a further 120MW for a second construction stage towards 2030.
“Data centers are an important part of the digital foundation and make it possible to create new safe jobs, reduce emissions, and, not least, ensure a change of pace in digitalization,” said Karianne Tung, Norway’s minister of digitalization.