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Google to spend $773 million on Dutch data center

The investment will be made over four years and operations at the facility will begin in the first half of 2016.

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The groundbreaking at Google's Dutch data center. Google/Koos Boertjens 0031618168331

Google is investing 600 million euros (about $773 million) in a new data center in the Netherlands, the company announced on Tuesday.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Google said that it expects the data center to be operational in the first half of 2016 and be fully operational in 2017. The company expects to employ 150 people in a wide range of areas, including IT, engineering, and security. The facility will also be environmentally friendly.

"The new Dutch data centre will benefit from the latest designs in cooling and electrical technology," Google's head of data center community relations for Europe wrote in the blog post. "It will be free-cooled--taking advantage of natural assets like cool air and grey water to keep our servers cool. Our data centers use 50 percent less energy than a typical datacenter - and our intention is to run this new facility on renewable energy."

Google has invested significantly in data centers across Europe over the last several years. The company opened its first European data center in 2007 and has since brought on several more. The Dutch data center will be the fourth in the company's line of "hyper-efficient" facilities.

Google declined CNET's request for additional comment on the data center expansion.

Google's investment in new data centers in Europe reflects its growing popularity, the company argues. The new Dutch facility will not cause Google to close down other data centers, and the company plans to invest in new facilities in Ireland, Finland, and Belgium in the coming years.

Still, Europe isn't necessarily the most friendly region to Google right now. The company is facing significant backlash from regulators and competitors over its antitrust investigation. Earlier on Tuesday, EU competition chief Joaquin Almunia said that Google must do more to make its search service fair or face formal antitrust charges.

Google has argued that it has made concessions that create more competition in the marketplace. So far, however, the EU doesn't believe it's enough.