Internet services provider AISO.net plans to put about three to four inches of dirt on the roof of its data center and plant bush-type, drought-resistant plants, Computerworld reports. The green roof will cost the Romoland, Calif.-based firm about $30,000 to cover 2,000 square feet over a data center that houses about 300 servers. AISO believes the green roof may cut data center cooling needs by half.
In addition, AISO already uses solar panels that generate 12 kilowatts electricity, enough to power servers and lighting. Solar tubes bring in natural light from the outside providing light during the day and AISO says its AMD Opteron powered servers use sixty percent less energy and generate fifty percent less heat.
California wants more companies like AISO to install solar and has begun offerring a $2.50-per-watt tax rebate for systems of up to 1 megawatt in size.
Incentives are critical to data centers – a solar-power-based 500-kilowatt system would cost about $3.5 million based on an estimated cost of about $7 per watt to buy and install it. California’s credits can cut that cost by about $1.5 million, and federal tax credits would reduce it by another $1 million or so, according to Rhone Resch, the president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, a Washington, D.C.-based industry group.