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Google to invest another $600M in S.C.


Gov. Nikki Haley, center, attended the groundbreaking of Google’s new data center facility in Berkeley County. The company announced plans to invest another $600 million in Berkeley County. (Photo/Leslie Burden) 
Gov. Nikki Haley, center, attended the groundbreaking of Google’s new data center facility in Berkeley County. The company announced plans to invest another $600 million in Berkeley County. (Photo/Leslie Burden)

By Matt Tomsic
mtomsic@scbiznews.com
Published Jan. 18, 2013

Google will spend another $600 million on a new data center facility in Berkeley County, company and government officials announced today.

“We are such a cool state,” said Gov. Nikki Haley during the groundbreaking. “We have Google; we have Honda; we have Boeing; we have BMW. All of these great companies are making us the ‘it’ state.”

Google’s presence in South Carolina is another feather in South Carolina’s cap, Haley added.

Local and state leaders gathered in an empty field between two data centers Google operates in Berkeley County for the groundbreaking. The company announced the first data center in 2007 and announced plans for a second facility in 2010. The company has already invested $600 million and created 150 jobs on its campus, and today’s announcement brings its total investment to more than $1.2 billion.

Eric Wages, operations manager for the data center, said construction will begin as soon as possible, and the building would be constructed during the next few years. Once operational, Google will begin hiring security personnel, network engineers, computer technicians plus other supporting staff, but Wages said he didn’t have figures for the number of jobs that could be created by the expansion.

Berkeley County and Mount Holly Commerce Park offer Google the right mix of developable land, low cost power and water systems, community support and other criteria Google analyzes as part of its decisions to expand or open facilities, Wages said.

The expansion marks a large step in improving Google’s capacity and will support the company’s overall growth, he said.

Haley and other speakers talked about Google’s impact on Berkeley County since 2008.

Google has awarded more than $850,000 to Palmetto State nonprofits and schools, funded and implemented a free Wi-Fi network for the city of Goose Creek and mentored students at Stratford High School.

“Google has become part of the fabric of our community,” said Elaine Morgan, CEO of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce. “We’re blessed to have them here.”

Reach Matt Tomsic at 843-849-3144.

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