Google outlined plans to invest €1 billion to expand its data centre campus in Finland, as it attempts to tap into the country’s access to renewable energy and meet its wider sustainability goals.

Google will use the investment to increase staff numbers at the facility located in Hamina in the gulf of Finland, by a quarter to 500 employees, while it will also pioneer a new project designed to provide sustainable heat to the district.

In partnership with energy provider Haminan Energia, Google explained it will attempt to feed excess heat generated from the data centre into a network of pipes used to warm up homes and other buildings in the area.

To date, heat generated from the Hamina data centre has been captured and recovered to heat offices and buildings on-site. Starting from 2025, this heat will “be recovered to optimise the district heating network efficiency and carbon emissions footprint”.

Ben Townsend, global head of infrastructure strategy and sustainability at Google, said the project and the investment in Finland would help its wider goal to achieve net zero emissions across all of its operations and value chain by 2030.

The Hamina site operates with carbon-free energy at 97 per cent and the heat project will aim to cover 80 per cent of the annual heat demands of the district, added Google.

Nordic countries have proved a popular with big technology companies to house data centres in recent years, largely due to cooler climates and ease of access to renewable energy.

Last month, the company also committed to investing €600 million on a new data centre in the Netherlands.