Google to make “major announcement” at Berkeley Co. data center Friday morning

An aerial view in June of Google's data center near Goose Creek. Buy this photo

Gov. Nikki Haley and local officials will be at Google’s Berkeley County data center Friday morning for a “major announcement,” the Internet search giant said today.

The notice provided no further details as to what the announcement at the data center complex off U.S. Highway 52 between Goose Creek and Moncks Corner would involve.

A Google spokesman would only say “it is related to the data center” and “is connected to the site.” A press release from the governor’s office described the 10 a.m. event as “an economic development announcement.”

Google opened the first data center on the 500-acre site in 2008 and had said it would build and open another one next door in 2012 as part of its planned $600 million facility.

But that hadn’t happened by November when Joe Kava, Google’s senior director of data center construction and operations, spoke to The Post and Courier and other media outlets as part of a campaign to lift the veil on the company’s secretive data centers.

He said then that all of the heavy construction work would be done by the end of 2012 but full deployment won’t happen until this year. Kava also hinted there could be further expansion down the road, as the need for data storage grows.

“We do have a lot of flat open space there, which makes it a great site for continued growth,” he said. “When we invest a lot of energy in finding the next Google data center campus, we want this to be something we can count on for a long time.”

While Google has kept details about its data center operation close to the vest, like how many people work there, the company has been more open in sharing its tech savvy and money with the local community.

Google, which is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. but with operations around the world, has hosted training events for local small businesses and nonprofits and sponsored free wireless Internet in part of Goose Creek and in Marion Square in downtown Charleston.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly stated the total amount of Google’s estimated cost for its facilities in Berkeley County. The total planned investment was $600 million.

Reach Brendan Kearney at 937-5906 and follow him on Twitter at @kearney_brendan.

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