Google announces plans to develop its data center in Lincoln, Nebraska’s third largest

LINCOLN, Nebraska (COLN) — Google has announced plans to develop a data center in Lincoln, its third in Nebraska since 2019.

The announcement was made with US Senator Deb Fisher and Rep. Mike Flood, along with city officials from Lincoln, Omaha and Papillion during a press conference on Google’s Papillion data center campus on Tuesday.

The new data center in Lincoln will help power popular digital services — such as Google Cloud, Workspace (which includes Gmail, Docs, Sheets and more), search and maps — for people and organizations around the world. It is part of the company’s plan to invest $1.2 billion this year in Nebraska. The announcement builds on Google’s $2.2 billion investment in Nebraska to date.

The company did not confirm the exact location of the Lincoln data center, but Mayor Lerion Gaylor Bird said the new data center would be built “beside Interstate 80 in northeast Lincoln” during the press conference. In 2019, a Shell company bought a large plot of land north of Interstate 80 and West 56th Street to build a data center, the same area that Gaylor Bird mentioned. An active construction site can be seen in the area.

The timeline for when construction will be completed is unclear, but it took almost two years for Google’s data center to be built in Papillion.

A new Google data center is being built along I-80 and northeast of Lincoln.
A new Google data center is being built along I-80 and northeast of Lincoln.(10/11 now)

“Google’s decision to locate in Lincoln is a result of the strong business climate we’ve built through community partnerships, investments in infrastructure and workforce development,” said Lincoln Mayor Lerion Gaylor Bird. “I look forward to welcoming them to our community and continuing the strong partnership as we bring greater innovation and economic growth to Lincoln.”

The data center has already gathered support from other city officials and organizations. “This is a great day for Lincoln,” said Jason Paul, president and CEO of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and the Lincoln Economic Development Partnership. “The addition of the Google Data Center to our business landscape is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to foster economic growth and transformational development within our community.”

The data center to be built in Lincoln follows their soon-to-be-operated site in Northwest Omaha and their existing campus in Papillion.

According to Google, its continued commitment to the Omaha-Council Bluffs area, and now the Lincoln metropolitan area, will play an important role in Google’s US datacenter group as one of the fastest growing regional centers. The company recently announced a $350 million investment in its existing Council Bluffs data center campus.

“Nebraska is blessed with a tremendous workforce, strong university system, and abundant natural resources that make us an unmistakable center for innovation,” Fisher said. “Today’s significant investment will grow our economy, create jobs, and build on the success of the thriving technology sector in our local communities. In the Senate, I will continue to promote policies that expand broadband access and create new economic opportunities for Nebraska.

In 2019, Google began construction of a data center in Papillion and has since created more than 120 jobs for Nebraska residents in a variety of full-time third-party vendor roles, including computer technicians, engineers, and various food service, maintenance, and security roles. The exact number of jobs as a result of the data center coming to Lincoln is not clear.

Most recently, Google provided $4.34 billion in economic activity to thousands of Nebraska businesses, including publishers, nonprofits, creators, and developers in 2022.

According to the company, more than 112,000 Nebraska businesses have used Google’s free tools to receive phone calls, reservations, reviews, requests for directions, and other customer interactions.

“We are at an important moment for technology innovation, with demand growing for AI and Google Cloud, along with our other digital products and services like search and maps,” said Ally Hopkins, Google’s head of data centers in Iowa and Nebraska. “We have a long history with the greater Omaha metro community and are proud to continue growing this important regional hub with today’s new investment in Nebraska.”

Press Conference: Senator Deb Fisher talks about the arrival of Google’s data center in Lincoln

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