Three years after buying property in Clarksville, a city 50 miles north of Nashville, Tennessee, Google is scheduled to start building a $500m data center, according to The Leaf Chronicle.

Google bought the site in 2015, after its former occupant, Hemlock Semiconductor, saw its business plummet in 2014. The company, which manufactures polysilicon for electronics and solar panels, planned to build a $1.2bn production facility and expected to employ 500 people, but a slump in sales coupled with a ban on exports to China caused it to abandon the project.

Great expectations

Google logo
– Youtube

The facility will be Google’s 15th data center – not accounting for its enterprise facilities – worldwide, promising to bring between 70 and 100 permanent jobs once the site is operational.

What’s more, the company promised to issue community grants to support educational programs in science and technology, having agreed to partnerships with local schools and universities. The grants will also fund renewable energy projects and the development of public Internet infrastructure.

Locals hope that Google’s presence will encourage others to build, create jobs and contribute to the city’s revenue streams through taxation. 

Earlier this month, Google announced that it would be opening five US data centers this year, promising to hire thousands of people across the country - although, again, no distinction was made between the facilities which host its own applications and its public cloud services.

An official ground breaking ceremony is due to take place in Montgomery County today.