Google will invest $600 million in a new data center project in Berkeley County, South Carolina, the company confirmed today. The facility will be on a 520-acre site at the Mount Holly Commerce Park, continuing a trend in which Google has acquired large amounts of land surrounding its data centers. The long-rumored project will create 200 jobs paying an average salary of $48,000 per year.
The announcement continues Google's furious building program in the Carolinas, where it has already announced a $600 million project in Lenoir, North Carolina. Google is also evaluating a site near Columbia, South Carolina and that the two sites are not in competition with one another. The second site in Richland County site is currently in the permitting process. Once permitting is complete, Google will decide whether to proceed with evaluate the site to make its future determinations.
"We are so pleased to formally announce our presence in South Carolina and our plans to build a data center," said Lloyd Taylor, Director of Global Operations, Google Inc. "The Governor, Department of Commerce, and Berkeley County officials have been wonderfully helpful during our evaluation. We look forward to growing our business and becoming an active member of the Berkeley County community."
"Given the stature of this company and the magnitude of this investment, this is a real win for South Carolina and will have a tremendous impact on the local and state economy," Gov. Mark Sanford said in a statement.
A Google subsidiary bought the data center site last year from Mt. Holly Commerce Park, LLC., an innovative economic development joint venture between Alcoa and Berkeley County. The announcement noted that Google will pay an estimated $1.96 million annually in property tax to Berkeley County, the equivalent of the property tax collected annually from 1,000 homeowners with homes valued at $200,000. Google also will pay millions in sales taxes on construction and numerous other purchases.
The governor's office, which announced the deal, emphasized that Google has hired local engineering and construction firms for the preparation and building of the data center site.
"South Carolina's ability to attract this type of industry and investment will yield substantial results for our state," said Joe Taylor, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce. "Today's announcement is the result of a team effort from the state level to the local officials in Berkeley County."
Taylor also sought to defuse criticism that Google strong-armed public officials to gain favorable incentive packages, an allegation that was raised by critics of the Lenoir project. "We have enjoyed a positive working relationship with Google from the beginning," said Taylor. "Google was upfront about what they needed to make this work and we were upfront about what we could do. We are very glad we could make it come together to bring a marquee name like Google to our state."