IBM Plans $86M Big Green Data Center

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IBM (NYSE: IBM) has announced plans for an $86 million data center expansion that will add 80,000 square feet of technical space to its Boulder, Colo. facility. IBM will use the space to build a “green data center” featuring IBM’s latest energy-efficient technology. The project is supported by a $480 million, five-year agreement with a “major new U.S. customer account,” but the facility will also help IBM fulfill it s recently-announced Big Green environmental program.

IBM will expand the raised floor at its Boulder location from approximately 225,000 square feet to more than 300,000 square feet, making it one of the largest IBM data centers in the world. The project will convert an existing 100,000 square foot office building on the Boulder campus into data center space. Larry Longseth, IBM Colorado senior state executive asid the expansion “reaffirms IBM’s view of Boulder as one of its key strategic locations.” The new data center will feature many of the same technologies that IBM announced as part of Project Big Green in May.


IBM plans to install high density computing systems utilizing virtualization technology, along with its Cool Blue portfolio of energy efficient power and cooling technologies. IBM has also been awarded incentive funding by both the State of Colorado and the City of Boulder, which played a role in IBM locating its new data center facility in Colorado.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade has awarded IBM $632,000 and will work with IBM to establish a training program for the new data center workforce, as well as additional IBM employees.

“During the past six months, my administration has made tremendous progress sending a strong message to the rest of the country that Colorado will be among the renewable energy leaders around the world, and certainly here in the United States,” said Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter. “This data center moves us another step closer to fulfilling that vision. IBM is Colorado’s largest technology employer, and we value the company’s commitment to attracting such investments and retaining quality jobs in Colorado.”

IBM Boulder also qualifies for a $100,000 rebate from the city of Boulder’s flexible rebate incentive program, which covers a wide range of fees and taxes charged by the city, including permit and development review fees and equipment and construction use taxes. Once companies are approved for the program and pay fees to the city, those fees can be rebated up to the amount approved by the city manager.

The expanded data center is scheduled to begin taking on new customers in April of 2008.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.