One of the offhand comments I've often made about green IT is that everybody talks about it but nobody wants to pay for it, especially when it comes to upgrading existing datacenters. Well it looks like New York State has been quietly going about their business and paying existing datacenters to go green.
I'm not talking about offering future tax incentives, or other esoteric forms of encouraging business growth; I'm talking cold hard cash. Up to $5,000,000 per facility, with the catch that their payments not exceed 50% of the project costs. Granted, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's not just taking your word for it that you've improved the energy efficiency of your datacenter, they are requiring an audit process that can take up to 2 years, but they will pay 60% of the funds up front for an approved project.
The project is funded through June 30th of this year and the complete details for how to determine if your NYS datacenter can qualify for the program can be found on the NYSERDA website, along with the application forms for the funding.
This is a pretty technology-aware program; it doesn't just focus on physical plant type upgrades, but also includes eligibility for common datacenter tasks such as virtualization, application management, and core server upgrades, as long as there will be a demonstrated improvement in the energy efficiency of the datacenter.
And while participation in this program isn't required, NYSERDA has just announced the 2010 NYS Datacenter Energy Efficiency Award, which, according to the announcement, "will be presented to an organization that demonstrates leadership in pursuing policies and projects that promote the efficient use of energy in its data center. The winner of this award will serve as a model within New York State of an organization that is dedicated to sustainable, efficient load growth in its data center."
So it looks like NYS is taking their green attitude towards datacenters very seriously. How about your location? Does your national or local government provide for direct, tangible benefits for your business to spend the money on going green? And if they do, in the form of incentives or tax rebates, abatements or reductions, are you factoring this into the ROI calculations for your datacenter investments?
If you haven't been looking into any sort of external benefits that can be applied to your datacenter ROI calculations, perhaps it is time you started to.