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Since the Internet consumes a large (and increasing) amount of energy, “green” strategies are desirable to help service providers (SP) operate their networks and provision services more energy efficiently. We focus on green provisioning strategies for optical wavelength-division multiplexing networks. A number of approaches from component layer to network layer are discussed, which should help improve the energy efficiency of the networks. Then, we consider a typical optical backbone network architecture, and minimize the operational power for provisioning. Typically, operational power depends on strategy (e.g., optical bypass versus traffic grooming), operations (e.g., electronic domain versus optical domain), and route. We analyze the constituents of operational power in various scenarios, and discuss the opportunities for energy savings. We propose a novel auxiliary graph, which can capture the power consumption of each provisioning operation. Based on the auxiliary graph, we develop a power-aware provisioning scheme to minimize the total operational power. Performance evaluation shows that our scheme always needs the least operational power, with comparison to a direct-lightpath approach and a traffic-grooming approach. The result also suggests proportional power consumption by operations (network equipment) and end-node traffic grooming to fully exploit the power-saving potential of optical networks.