Google to open two more data centers in Ohio

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From left, President of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Steve Stivers, U.S. Representative Mike Carey, Google's Winton Steward, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Google's Mark Isakowitz and U.S. Representative Troy Balderson pose for a photo after the company announced two new data centers will be built in central Ohio on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 in Columbus. (AP Photo/Patrick Orsagos)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Google plans to build two more data centers in Ohio to help power its artificial intelligence technology and other tools, the company and state officials announced Wednesday.

With one data center already up and running near Columbus, the two new locations will bring Google's total investment in Ohio to more than $2 billion, officials said.

Ohio is seeing a wave of big investments by the technology industry.

Intel is building a $20 billion chip factory just east of Columbus, and Honda and LG Energy Solution of South Korea are building a $3.5 billion battery plant between Columbus and Cincinnati that the automaker envisions as its North American electric vehicle hub.

The area around Columbus also is home to data centers operated by Facebook and Amazon.

The two new Google data centers will be built in Columbus and Lancaster.

“Ohio is a growing technology hub and data center market, and we welcome these two new Google projects in Columbus and Lancaster to complement the one already in New Albany,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement.

Mark Isakowitz, Google’s head of government affairs in the U.S. and Canada, would not say how many jobs would be created, adding that data centers typically employ about 50 people at opening and those numbers increase as they expand.

“If you look at some of the sites we have around the country, it’s hundreds and hundreds of people as you build and as you grow,” he said.

Data centers have proliferated across the U.S. and become a welcome revenue source for local governments. They also require a large amount of electricity and high-voltage transmission lines.

In northern Virginia, which is home to the biggest cluster of data centers, complaints have grown mostly about the constant noise from fans needed to cool the computers and servers.