(Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc.’s Google is planning to spend €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to build out its main data center in Finland because of its easy access to green energy. 

The expansion will increase staffing by a quarter to 500 people this year and next, a spokesman said by email on Monday. Google declined to disclose what impact the investment will have on data capacity at the site. 

The facility is located in Hamina, on the nation’s south coast. The region offers a good supply of renewable power, which is vital for the firm’s target to run every office and data center on green energy by the end of this decade. 

The tech giant is also pioneering a project with the local utility to feed excess heat into the network of pipes that’s used to warm up homes in the area. The technology, called district heating, is common in parts of northern Europe. If successful, it could help to guide future investments, Ben Townsend, Google’s global head of infrastructure strategy and sustainability, said in an interview.

“It may start to steer new site selection opportunities to locations where waste heat recovery and district heating is more readily implementable,” he said. The pilot project will provide the recovered heat for free to utility Haminan Energia Oy. 

Google is not the first tech firm in the Nordic region to offer its heat to local energy companies. Microsoft Corp. joined the Finnish utility Fortum Oyj in 2022 to capture and distribute the energy source to the local network. Stockholm is also using heat from data centers for the same purpose. 

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