The Dalles Chronicles: Google reveals newest data center
Google built its first-ever data center in The Dalles in 2006.
Friday afternoon, the global technology leader revealed its latest data center and U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, Mayor Steve Lawrence and Scott Hege, chair of the Wasco County Board of Commissioners, were all on hand to celebrate.
Operations Manager Dave Karlson announced the $600 million expansion has brought Google’s total investment in The Dalles to $1.2 billion, along with more than 200 jobs, including 80 full-time Googlers.
Karlson also touted Google’s data centers as some of the most efficient in the world thanks to a water cooling system that uses half the energy of a typical data center.
Wearing the Google construction hat from the groundbreaking of the new data center in 2013, Lawrence said, “Google has innovation and they need capacity and The Dalles is part of that future. We’re making that possible.”
Not to be outdone, Hege wore a Google jersey and talked about all the company had done for the community, including supplying more high-paying jobs than it initially promised and redoing the technology at The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Google is part of our community in many ways,” Hege said.
The company also paid $1.2 million in up-front fees to The Dalles and Wasco County in 2013 as part of the latest expansion and will pay $800,000 each year the agreement is in effect.
Hege said that’s twice as much as any other company in?Wasco County pays through taxes.
Google has spent over $360,000 for a free WiFi network in The Dalles.
Since 2008, Google has awarded nearly $9 million in grants to Oregon nonprofits like the Columbia River Fire and Rescue Volunteer Association, Mid-Columbia Health Foundation and the Wonder Works Children’s Museum of the Columbia Gorge.
Google has also given more than $200,000 to North Wasco County School District 21 and that will continue into the future as the company announced its latest grant of nearly $100,000 for computer science education with a focus on coding.
Walden, who was born in The Dalles, talked about how much the community has transformed, reminiscing on the dedication of The Dalles Dam in 1959.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown also had representatives at the celebration.
“Oregon is a great place for our best tech companies to invest in data centers and I’m thrilled that a world leader like Google continues to do so,” Brown said in a press release. “The size of their investment in The Dalles data center demonstrated a long term commitment to rural Oregon’s families and the communities they live in.”
Employees at The Dalles data center work to keep Google Search, Gmail, YouTube and many other applications operational, enabling Google to provide fast and reliable services around the clock to millions of people.