IBM plans green data-center expansion in Colorado

High-tech grandpappy IBM will undertake an $86 million expansion of a greenish data center in Boulder, Colo. The company will add 80,000 square feet to a 225,000-square-foot facility, using energy-efficient lighting and heating, efficient building design, and energy-conservation technologies in the data gear. It’s all part of a cunning plan to double data-center capacity by 2010 without increasing energy usage or emissions. And that, in turn, is part of Project Big Green, an initiative the company unveiled in early May that will see it spend $1 billion a year to improve its and its clients’ IT efficiency. “This is about growth,” says Rich Lechner, IBM’s vice president for IT optimization. “The reason we’re building these data centers is we continue to have growth in our clients’ demands. It’s about growing in an eco-friendly way.” The company was wooed by $732,000 in incentives from Boulder and Colorado, a state that aims to be, says Gov. Bill Ritter (D), “among the renewable-energy leaders around the world.”