Google has bought a 33-acre plot of land north of London which could house its first data center campus in the UK.

News about the land acquisition in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire was first reported by City AM.

Google
– Sebastian Moss

First UK campus

Google has eight data center campuses outside the US, which include five in Europe: Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, and Belgium.

It also leases wholesale space in further territories - including the UK, where it has three Google Cloud zones.

“We have acquired a 33-acre property north of London for potential data center development," a Google spokesperson said. "While we do not have a confirmed timeline for development for the site, we want to ensure that we have the option to further grow, should our business demand it. We don’t expect to take any decision on this in the near future.”

The recent move by Google follows its July announcement that in 2022 it will deploy Grace Hopper, a submarine cable between the UK, Spain, and the US. It is Google's first investment into a private submarine cable to the UK and the company’s first-ever private route to Spain.

In the event the company builds a data center, Google will power the facility with renewable energy, as it currently does globally. In September, Google pledged to source renewable energy for its data centers and offices around the clock by 2030. But to keep their data centers running around the clock, Google relies on fossil fuel sources for when renewable sources are not sufficient (when the sun doesn't shine or the wind stops blowing).

This means that, on average, the company only runs directly on renewable power 65 percent of the time. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Google will invest in sourcing reliable carbon-free energy in all of its locations.