AEP Ohio has a big new customer. Big as is lots of kilowatt hours, and big as in … well, you’ve probably heard of them.
Thanks to a new business development partnership, AEP will be providing electric service to Google for its new 400-acre data center in New Albany, Ohio. The $600M project is bringing hundreds of construction jobs and dozens of permanent positions to the area. Google’s projected growth will eventually make the facility one of AEP Ohio’s largest customers.
“Right from the get-go Google made it clear they wanted to work with AEP. There aren’t a lot of companies who are able to help with a project of this size,” said Tim Wells, manager of economic and business development for AEP. “AEP has become known as a leader in the data center industry – we hear it constantly. We have built an outstanding reputation thanks to our team’s outstanding service both to established operators and prospective customers considering new locations.”
The first step for a project of this scale was one of the most difficult: identifying the ideal spot. For Google, a priority was robust infrastructure to support the facility. Several members of the AEP team played a critical role in narrowing the list of potential sites to those that could accommodate Google’s requirements and identifying the optimal location. New Albany is close to Columbus, has the support of community leaders for large-scale development and can provide the necessary land and infrastructure resources thanks to the strength and proximity of the AEP Transmission system.
“Google is a lot like other customers we serve. Our job is not only to help make sites available, but to meet all the customer’s needs,” Wells said. “AEP has become known for helping customers reduce risk and, perhaps most importantly, adding value by simplifying the process and delivering on our commitments.”
Building a data center doesn’t come quickly. The work was completed in stages: Construction began in the first quarter of 2019, AEP Ohio installed temporary power last summer and permanent service was energized in March.
The addition of Google shines a light on the ripe business climate in Ohio. And as Central Ohio’s technology hub continues to grow, the AEP team will be there to power its expansion.
“This is a huge victory for AEP,” Wells says. “But it’s a great deal all around – for our company, for Google and for the communities we serve. Because in the end we will continue to grow together.”