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Google.org Impact Challenge Will Award $1M to Ohio Nonprofits with Bold Ideas to Create Economic Opportunity  

Google and AEP Energy to match New Albany Data Center with 100% Renewable Energy


NEW ALBANY (November 1, 2019)— Today, Google broke ground in Ohio on its newest data center in New Albany. The new data center facility represents a $600 million investment in Ohio’s internet infrastructure.  The tech company also kicked off a $1 million Google.org Impact Challenge Ohio and called on nonprofits throughout the state to submit their boldest ideas to create economic opportunities for their community.

”We thank Google for their investment in Ohio,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. ”This and additional data center investments have contributed to making Ohio the tech center of the Midwest. The infrastructure that accompanies these types of investments creates a real and strategic economic advantage for Ohio.“

Earlier this year, Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, detailed that the company will make over $13 billion in investments throughout 2019 in data centers and offices across the U.S., with major expansions in 14 states. As part of this announcement, Pichai confirmed the company’s plans to develop a data center in Ohio.

“Data centers enable Google to power your searches, organize documents and emails, and help you find the fastest way home,” said Mark Isakowitz, Google’s Vice President of U.S. Public Policy. “Investing in a community means more than building a facility. It means investing in the people that make Ohio a great place to live and work.”

“New Albany has a strong track record of attracting and retaining a high caliber of businesses and technological companies,” said New Albany Mayor Sloan Spalding, “Google’s data center is another example of this and we are thrilled to have them join our community.”

To power the data center, Google and AEP Energy have agreed to a long-term retail supply agreement to ensure that the New Albany data center will be matched with 100% renewable energy from the outset. Google is the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world, having already signed nearly 5,500MW of renewable power agreements to date. This agreement enables AEP Energy to contract with and construct up to 100MW of new wind and solar projects in the region to keep pace with the data center’s demand as it grows over time.

“AEP Energy is pleased to partner with Google to provide new regional renewables in this innovative retail structure.  We’re committed to developing creative solutions that enable customers in competitive markets to simultaneously meet their sustainability objectives and secure cost-effective renewable energy,” said Greg Hall, president, AEP Energy.

The Google.org Impact Challenge Ohio will call on nonprofits statewide to submit their biggest and boldest ideas to create economic opportunities for their community. A panel of local judges will select the top five submissions to receive $175,000 to make their idea a reality. Afterward, the public can vote to select a “People’s Choice” winner to receive an additional $125,000. In total, Google.org will award $1 million to Ohio nonprofits in support of Grow with Google, the company’s initiative to help create economic opportunities for all Americans. Last year, Google.org convened a Challenge for Cleveland after a Grow with Google event at Cuyahoga Community College.

Boasting a diverse set of backgrounds, the Google.org Impact Challenge judge panel is made up of local Ohians who truly understand the importance of creating economic opportunity in our communities across the state. The panel is made up of:

  • Elena Foulis, Ph.D. – State Commissioner, Ohio Commission of Hispanic/Latino Affairs
  • Brian Hall – Senior Vice President, Greater Cleveland Partnership Equity & Inclusion
  • Shilpa Kedar – Executive Director, Digital and IoT Innovations, Cleveland State University and Co-Executive Director, IoT Collaborative
  • Kimm Lauterbach – President and CEO, REDI Cincinnati
  • Duane Nellis, Ph.D. – President, Ohio University
  • Eric Phillips – Chief Executive Officer, Union County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Director, Union County and Marysville

“We’re excited to see the Google.org Impact Challenge come to Ohio. This is a great opportunity for nonprofits in the state to turn some of their big ideas into a reality,” said Brian Hall, Senior Vice President, Greater Cleveland Partnership Equity & Inclusion.

“I’m honored to be a judge for the Google.org Impact Challenge. This investment into our state will further promote our status as a leader of innovation and economic opportunity,” said M. Duane Nellis, Ph.D. President, Ohio University.

Earlier this year, Grow with Google toured Ohio and held daylong digital skills workshops for community members at libraries in Columbus, Lima and Akron. Google staff introduced hundreds of Ohioans to free Grow with Google tools and training in order to help find jobs they want, advance their careers and grow their businesses.