European Telecoms Ink Deals for 388 MW of Solar Power

(Photo: Vattenfall’s wind and solar renewable energy park, Parc Cynog. Credit: Vattenfall)

by | Feb 13, 2020

Vattenfall solar power

(Photo: Vattenfall’s wind and solar renewable energy park, Parc Cynog. Credit: Vattenfall)

French telecom Orange and Deutsche Telekom subsidiary Power & Air Solutions signed separate power purchase agreements this week to procure solar power totaling 388 megawatts.

Power & Air Solutions, the energy provider for Deutsche Telekom’s units and companies in Germany, inked a 10-year corporate power purchase agreement with Vattenfall for electricity from a new solar farm in the German state Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The facility is expected to have an installed capacity of 60 megawatts once it becomes operational in mid-2021.

Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile, is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. It reports having 178 million mobile customers, 28 million fixed-network lines, and 20 million broadband lines. Last year the company set a goal of having 100% of its electricity come from renewable sources by 2021. In 2018, the telecom reached 62% renewable energy in Germany and 73% in Europe, according to calculations assured by PwC in the telecom’s latest corporate responsibility report.

Orange, meanwhile, signed a long-term PPA with Spanish electric utility Iberdrola for energy from a new $271 million photovoltaic project in the Ceclavín municipality of Spain. Iberdrola says the project is set to become operational this year with an installed capacity of 328 MW. Under the agreement, Orange will receive renewable energy for 9,000 supply points in its Spain network from Iberdrola for 12 years.

Last month CDP put Orange on its annual A List of companies for the telecom’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, mitigate climate risks, and advance the low-carbon economy. Orange, which is one of the largest operators of mobile and internet services in Europe and Africa, has 65 million 4G customers worldwide.

The company set a goal of reaching net zero carbon by 2040 despite an anticipated explosion of data on its networks. Part of that, according to Orange, means having renewable energy account for more than 50% of its energy mix by 2025 paired with efforts around improving energy efficiency.

In the Congo, the company previously tapped independent renewable power producer GreenWish Partners to equip 10,000 telecommunications towers with hybrid solar solutions, Biztech Africa reported. Orange said last August that the telecom was already using 2,800 solar sites to supply mobile network services in Africa and the Middle East.

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