Google has announced plans to spend $350 million expanding its Council Bluffs data center on the Iowa/Nebraska border.

– Google

Plans for the Council Bluffs data center were first announced in 2007. In 2012 and 2015, Google announced plans to expand, and has since spent around $5 billion on the campus and others in the region/state.

The expansion to the data center will support artificial intelligence and increase the cloud storage capabilities of the site, as demand for such services is growing.

Allie Hopkins, head of data centers in Iowa and Nebraska for Google, said the expansion will mean "more buildings, more support needed across all fronts ... not just the technicians and facility technicians but all the support services that we need to keep these buildings running."

The expansion will add more jobs to the facility on top of the 900 already at the facility.

According to Baxtel, Google has two data centers in Council Bluffs, one near Lake Manawa and another Southlands campus. Baxtel reports that the Southlands Council Bluff campus has four buildings with a total of 2.9 million sq ft (270,000 sqm).

In addition to the data center investment, Google has given a $250,000 grant to the Advance Southwest Iowa Corp to create a co-working entrepreneurial hub helping local business owners get started.

US senator Joni Ernst said of the investment: “With this expansion, not only are they making the physical, capital investment here in Pottawattamie County, but affecting the livelihoods of so many people that will choose to call southwest Iowa and southeast Nebraska their home."

In October 2022, the Des Moines Register reported that Google was planning to invest $600 million in the Council Bluffs complex after the Iowa Economic Development Authority signed off on a $16.6 million local property tax break for the company. In this earlier announcement, Google said construction would begin in Q3 2022 and the expansion would be operational by the end of 2024.

Council Bluffs sits just next to Omaha, Nebraska, on the Iowa side of the border. The Omaha/Council Bluffs region is home to more than 20 data centers. The data centers have had a significant impact on the town's electrical supply, leading to Omaha's public customer-owned electric utility planning to spend around $2 billion in the next decade to double its capacity.

Google has several data center projects underway in the region. The company announced plans to build a third data center in Omaha, Nebraska back in April 2022, then filed to further expand the site in January of this year.

In June 2023, work on a data center in Lincoln, Nebraska was kicked off by an unnamed company suspected to be Google. The company has another in Papillon, Nebraska, on which construction began in 2019.

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