Google: A Utility Company

February 12, 2009

There are several news stories bopping around the datasphere this morning (February 12, 2009). The gist of these stories is that the GOOG bought an abandoned paper mill in lovely rural Finland. The speculation about the intent of this acquisition is interesting. Here’s a synopsis of items I found interesting. If you want the kicker to this post, skip the dot points and jump to the final paragraph. Now the news and analysis that feeds naive minds:

  • Reuters here reported here that the former Stora plant will be a data center.
  • and the Washington Post reported here that the Stora Enso facility consumed 1,000 gigawatt hours of power
  • Global Markets reported here that part of the site will be transferred to the city of Hamina for other industrial uses.

The missing item is that Google’s patent document 20080209234 Water Based Data Center contains interesting language that includes systems and methods which can be applied to traditional power generation facilities. I wish I knew how to translate into Finnish Google Power & Light. Google Translate yields this phrase: “google teho ja kevyiden yritys”. I prefer GPL myself. I pronounce the acronym as “goo-pull”.

You can poke around other Google documents here. The “site:” instruction may be helpful too.

Stephen Arnold, February 12, 2009


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