Google Planning Oklahoma Data Center

Google has purchased 800 acres of land in an industrial park in Pryor, Oklahoma and is evaluating the site for a new data center, the company has confirmed. “We’re evaluating this exciting opportunity but have not announced our decision or made final plans,” Google spokesman Ricardo Reyes said in a statement to local media.

The move continues the company’s furious effort to build anational network of huge data centers to power its growing universe of online services. On Wednesday Google announced a $600 million data center project in Berkeley County, South Carolina.

The 800-acre Oklahoma property is located in the Mid-America Industrial Park, and was purchased by Myall LLC from the Oklahoma Ordinance Works Authority (OOWA). Local officials have informed the Grand River Dam Authority that the new tenant would require as much as 15 megawatts of power, and the authority would likely need to spend about $3.5 million for a new substation and other improvements. If the plan goes foreward, Google has pledged to supply $2 million towards the power infrastructure.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.


  1. What an amazing number of new data center announcements in the last four months! Rich - how do you track them as you seem to have this down better than anyone else? Dave Mulholland VP Marketing, Service Power Distribution Incorporated

  2. Dave: This story actually was generated by a tip from an alert reader who saw a story in Oklahoma media about an big project with an unnamed tenant and a familiar profile. Reader submissions are enormously helpful, but I also track a large number of publications and blogs via RSS and aggregated search. Current RSS tools make it possible to monitor keywords and topics across a large number of sites and search engines. Even so, the number of feeds in my RSS reader is ridculously large.

  3. mel

    That was me. I'm from Eastern Oklahoma, am in the tech field, and was driving through that area not long after "The Dalles" data center became news. I realized that with cheap land, power and water in the area in addition to a substantial fiber route nearby (along US 412) ... that's where I would put a data center. While hydro power from Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) could be affected during drought years, OG&E has a substantial coal fired facility just a few miles away. While it's a different supplier, I'm sure accomodations could be made if warranted. Too bad I didn't have money to do land speculation ...

  4. Why would you build a data center in an area known for tornadoes? I remember in the late 90's when people talked about how cheap land and central location pointed towards the mid-west, but not in tornado alley. The goal was to AVOID natural disasters like earthquakes, flooding, and tornadoes.

  5. Chuck Bell

    I live about 5 miles from where this is at in Oklahoma. I'm excited! I'm all about free and open source software and have been a systems manager/developer and GNU/Linux zealot for many years (specifically Slackware, Debian, and Ubuntu). I sure hope this deal comes through! Chuck Bell Salina, Oklahoma ---------------- "When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price." -- Richard M. Stallman

  6. Mel

    Don > Why would you build a data center in an area known for tornadoes? Yes, why would anyone want to live or build in an area of the country where tonadoes might hit? There are plenty of earthquakes in California. I'd guess that the Carolinas (as well as Virginia) would be susceptible to hurricane induced flooding. So let's find some place where land is cheap and water and power is plentiful and fiber is available ... that doesn't have some risk of a natural disaster. That makes things a little tough. I don't know what they're planning, but they can actually harden the facitilites against tornado damage. Besides, don't forget Google's approach to ensuring data integrity ... less about raid and mirroring, more about "make three copies of the original". That approach could apply to data centers as well (which might be a reason for the DC explosion of late). Another interesting thought I've had involves the amount of land. The Dalles involved 30 acres. The Oklahoma purchase is 800 acres. That's 1.25 square miles. I suppose they could have bought all of it so that Yahoo and Microsoft couldn't, but there is plenty more land for those two if they wish. I grew up in "tornado alley". It's not as though tornadoes wipe the land clean every spring with the poor inhabitants left to rebuild year after year. G could lose a facility in it's first year of operation ... or they may operate for decades without even seeing wind damage.

  7. neomorpheus

    You guys obviously aren't familiar with the area for those of you who worry about Oklahoma tornadoes. As someone said, it's not like every spring tornadoes wipe the slate clean in Oklahoma. In fact, Eastern Oklahoma is very hilly and usually doesn't have many tornadoes. Oklahoma City has been ranked by Forbes magazine as the 5th hottest city in the nation to expand your business and 7th hottest for two years in a row by Expansion Management magazine. Tornadoes very rarely hit a metropolitan area. Granted Pryor isn't a metro area, but is in Eastern Oklahoma, where there is alot less wind/tornadoes. Just as someone said, natural disasters are everywhere and some such as hurricanes, you can only do so much about. You can build tornado-proof buildings just like you can build buildings to sustain earthquake damage. In fact, Norman, Oklahoma is the weather capitol of the world with the National Weather Service and numerous weather research facilities. Tornadoes are the one natural disaster that are easier to predict and plan accordingly and have a great warning system. It's hard to predict ahead of time exactly when an earthquake might hit.

  8. I am keeping an eye out for details on this. Linux jobs are pretty hard to come by here in Oklahoma, and I would love the chance to move back close to my home town of Tulsa. As soon as they start posting jobs for this center, I will be sending in my resume.