Sherburne County in central Minnesota appears to be in the running for a Google data center worth around $600 million, according to a filing Thursday by Xcel Energy.
The filing with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission says Xcel has been working for two years with the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development, the county, the city of Becker and several other stakeholders on the project.
It says the Google project would help transition Xcel and the surrounding area from reliance on the Sherco coal-fired power plant.
“By locating there, this project becomes part of the company’s journey to mindfully transition a coal-plant environment into a less carbon-intensive, business-oriented area that creates new jobs, results in significant private capital investment in the state and benefits all of the company’s customers,” according to Xcel Energy’s filing.
“This is particularly true given the proposed data center’s unique electric service needs and Sherco’s robust infrastructure.”
The state department’s spokesperson Shane Delaney said the project could create 2,000 construction jobs for 18-24 months, as well as 50 permanent jobs.
Sherburne County is currently ranked 36 (out of 87) for broadband access in Minnesota. I have to think that along with opening doors to new electric solutions that the area might also see a boost in broadband options.