A local mayor has said claims that Google’s upcoming data center campus in Norway will require 860MW are false.

Local press, including Digi, reported recently that the search and cloud firm had formally applied for 860MW of power to support its planned data center campus in Gromstul, Skien municipality. This would equate to around five percent of Norway’s total energy capacity.

Google Data Center
– Google

However, the Mayor of the Skien municipality, Marius Roheim Aarvold, this month wrote an op-ed saying that wasn’t the case.

He said that Google’s power requirements only make up a part of that 860MW request in the area, made by state-owned grid company Statnett.

“The power request of 860MW was made at the request of Statnett, and as an attempt to estimate what might be the industrial area's maximum need in a very long-term perspective such as 20 years from now. Google's needs therefore constitute a proportion of the total applied power needs in the region," he said.

“They [Google] have communicated what they have been granted in terms of capacity: 100MW, and are waiting for an answer for 20MW for a first construction stage. They are hoping for a further 120MW to be able to realize a second construction stage, towards 2030.”

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 around 2019. Mayor Aarvold said preparatory work on the site is going on, but didn’t provide timelines for development.

“Local consultants and contractors have been engaged, and Google is financing the main part of a strengthened power infrastructure (Gromstul switching station),” he said.