PUC Approves Xcel Energy Request For Google Facility In Becker
MINNEAPOLIS -- Another step forward in the plan to bring Google to central Minnesota. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Tuesday approved Xcel Energy's request to provide wind energy to the planned large data center.
A representative for Google says the company has had a goal of 100 percent renewable matching energy since 2012.
This is a first of its kind structure that provides long term clean energy to a corporate purchaser, and the proposed rate structure provides Google with very important certainty into our electricity costs at the data center. Electricity is the largest component of our operational expenditures at the facilities.
The Google representative says they have 13 data centers around the world right now, with six of them in the United States, three more are currently in the works.
Earlier both the Becker city council and the Sherburne County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a 20-year tax abatement for a combined $14 million.
Becker is still waiting on a $20 million bill that has been introduced in the state legislature to help them make upgrades to their industrial park.
Meanwhile, the Google representative also says there's a lot of great potential future employees in this region for the global company.
Frankly, that's one of the attributes of the site, as we were looking around and comparing this location to others, a large skilled available workforce not only in Becker and Sherburne County but the proximity to the Twin Cities as well as to St. Cloud.
The proposed 375,000 square foot data center, when fully operational would create at least 50 new jobs with an annual average income of $80,000. Google is considering buying about 300 acres of land that is currently owned by Xcel Energy.
No timeline has been given on when Google will make its final decision or possible start time for construction.