Google Investment In Iowa Tops $1.1 Billion

Google made another major announcement Friday afternoon, again investing millions of dollars in Council Bluffs.

“When Google comes to town the world takes notice." Lately, it's Council Bluffs that gets the attention. From the $600 million data center off South Omaha Bridge Road that's already in operation to the $300 million facility a few miles south of Council Bluffs that’s being built.

Google announced Friday it will infuse another $200 million into this facility for what amounts to the computer infrastructure that runs Google. “Google has now invested $1.1 billion in Iowa,” said the company’s Chris Russell.

The additional $200 million will roughly double the size of the facility not far from MidAmerican Energy, which is important because a place full of servers and computers takes a lot of power. To off-set the heavy use of the power grid, Google is investing $75 million in the Rippey Wind Farm in Greene County as part of its effort to encourage development of cleaner energy sources.

“The number of people put back to work to rebuild $600 million is unbelievable, from those pushing dirt to laying concrete, electricians, plumbers, all those jobs that had been lost for a number of years,” said Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan.

Google has already created 130 permanent jobs, high-tech ones such as computer experts, electricians and logistical employees. It's not clear what this extra $200 million will translate into permanent jobs, but certainly the construction work will continue into 2014.

"For me, the trademark has always been Coke,” said Mayor Hanafan. “For my grandkids, it's Google."


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