Google officially opened its Taylor Lake data center in The Dalles today with an afternoon celebration attended by employees with their families and local community members. The celebration marked the completion of the first phase of the construction, just as the second phase of building gets underway. The completion of the $600 million expansion will bring Google’s total investment in The Dalles to $1.8 billion.
“We are excited to be opening this new space and to further expand our presence in The Dalles,” said Richard Stillwell, Google’s operations manager for the data center. “As a part of this community, my colleagues and I are proud to call the Gorge and Oregon our home, and to work and live here for more than a decade.”
“Oregon is a place where innovation thrives, and it’s wonderful that the world’s best tech companies continue to invest in our state. Google’s investments in our rural communities bring exciting new opportunities and good jobs for Oregonians. I’m focused on finding more ways to support economic growth throughout the state, and this new data center represents the types of investments and jobs that my Future Ready Oregon initiative seeks to expand,” said Governor Kate Brown.
To date, Google has provided over 200 total jobs. When complete, this new facility is expected to create up to 50 jobs. To date, the construction of the facility has employed over 1000 construction workers and the next phase is expected to employ over 750 construction workers.
“The positive impact on our economy has been terrific,” said Lisa Farquaharson, President and CEO of The Dalles Chamber of Commerce. “Local businesses have really felt the economic benefit of the thousand construction jobs over the last year. Even more than the jobs, the impact that Google has had on education here in The Dalles has been incredible. The impact on our students has been amazing to see- and none of this would happen without Google.”
At the celebration, Google and Superintendent Candy Armstrong announced Google’s latest grant of nearly $100,000 to North Wasco County District 21 for technology upgrades. This latest grant to D-21 brings the funding specifically for technology upgrades to the district to $200,000 since 2016, and complements Google’s grant of $100,000 for computer science education in Wasco County Schools, which was announced earlier this month. The grant for computer science funding is the second round of funding to bring computer science education to students across Wasco County.
Google also announced a grant to The Dalles Wasco County Library system to increase the number of Wi-Fi hotspots available for loan. Google began funding the program last year
Since 2008, the company has awarded more than $2 million in grants to Wasco County schools and nonprofits, and over $450,000 for a free Wi-Fi network in The Dalles.
Google’s data centers are some of the most efficient in the world, using 50 percent less energy than the typical data center. Google is the first major internet services company to gain external certification of the high environmental, workplace safety, and energy management standards of its data centers. In 2017, Google reached another industry-leading milestone of purchasing 100 percent renewable energy to match consumption for its global operations, including data centers and offices.
“Google has become an integral part of our community in The Dalles,” said Steve Lawrence, Mayor of The Dalles. “We are partners in economic growth, community relations and quality of life. Our relationship is based on the growth of our area and friendship.”