David Hughes, the Mayor of Bridgeport, told us it will help grow the city that has about $2,300 people.
"It's a momentous occasion for my family to be back in Alabama and to be able to talk about how Google can bring that same opportunity that I had for education and knowledge to families here in Jackson County by investing in this center and our children and all that they can become", Boden said. This arrangement, and others like it throughout the country, help companies and utilities meet their renewable energy goals.
Google's site manager for the project spoke of the company's excitement to partner with Jackson County and continued partnership with the community.
The Alabama data center will act as an engine for internet traffic, operating in a network that keeps the Google search engine and company products such as Gmail and YouTube up and running for global users 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey speaks at the groundbreaking for Google's $600 million data center in Jackson County.
"This is the best part of my job", Google Site Leader Brenda Standridge said as STEM students appeared with Google and state officials in a make-shift stage overlooking the construction site where work is underway for the data center.
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"Billions of people use Google to search for something and I'm sure glad that when Google started searching they found us in Alabama", Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said during Monday's ceremony. "This particular project has so much meaning not only for Jackson County but also for the state of Alabama", said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. "No doubt about it - this is a game-changer for us".
Google's newest data center is being constructed on a property of over 500 acres adjacent to the site of the decommissioned Widows Creek coal-fired power plant once operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
"What is really going to be more important is the future of Google in Alabama, because we hope this is just the beginning".
The data center project is expected to have a massive economic impact on the area and add a new dimension to Jackson County's economy, which today has a heavy concentration of manufacturers producing items ranging from carpets to auto parts.
Google said it selected the Jackson County site because it offered the right combination of energy infrastructure and developable land.
About 100 highly skilled technical workers will be hired to work at the site. The state has approved a new program that allows companies such as Walmart, Target, and Johnson & Johnson, to buy renewable energy directly from Georgia Power. "It's just hard to do with something this big", he said.