Eco-Friendly Power: Africa Data Centres’ Solar Farm Initiative

africa solar panel farm

(Credit: Canva)

by | Apr 10, 2024

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Africa Data Centres, part of Cassava Technologies, has commenced the development of a solar farm in the Free State in partnership with DPA Southern Africa.

The project is a vital aspect of a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed in March 2023 with DPA Southern Africa, a subsidiary of the French utility EDF. The solar farm aims to supply renewable energy to Africa Data Centres’ locations, starting with the state-of-the-art CPT1 data center in Cape Town.

Hardy Pemhiwa, President and CEO of Cassava Technologies remarked, “This venture sets Africa Data Centres at the forefront of the data center sector, offering sustainable solutions to South Africa’s energy issues. It reflects the industry’s move towards more innovative and environmentally friendly practices, with solar power playing a crucial role in addressing energy and sustainability challenges.”

Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centres, emphasized its pledge to use only clean, renewable energy for its data centers. “The announcement today marks a major step in our sustainable energy strategy for South African data centers, pushing us closer to carbon neutrality. The initial phase includes building a 12MW solar facility to supply energy to our Cape Town data center, with plans to expand to our Johannesburg sites.”

El Fadil added, “We’re proud to assist Africa Data Centres in being one of the first to launch a wheeling solar plant, contributing to a more sustainable future in South Africa.”

The initiative is part of Africa Data Centres’ goal to become Africa’s most eco-friendly co-location provider. “Our strategy goes beyond just sourcing renewable energy; we’re also focused on efficiency, as demonstrated by our ISO 50001 certification for our data center operations,” said Durvasula.

ISO 50001 Standard

ISO 50001 is an internationally recognized standard that outlines the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving an Energy Management System (EnMS). This certification is tailored to help organizations save energy, cut costs, and enhance energy performance.

Key Components:

  • Policy Development
  • Setting Targets and Objectives
  • Data Utilization
  • Measurement
  • Review
  • Continual Improvement

Certification to ISO 50001 is voluntary but serves as a testament to an organization’s commitment to ongoing improvement in energy management. It allows organizations to set industry standards and ensures adherence to legislative and regulatory requirements. For instance, ISO 50001 certification meets the criteria for compliance with specific energy legislation, such as the UK Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS).

Nawfal El Fadil, DPA SA’s CEO, said, “Africa Data Centres has always been at the forefront of sustainable practices in the data center industry, which aligns with our values. We’re excited to support their goal of carbon neutrality, starting with this solar plant in the Free State for their Cape Town data center. Our partnership is founded on a mutual belief that achieving carbon neutrality is about more than just infrastructure; it requires innovation, expertise, and a collective will to tackle challenges. With the support of EDF’s heritage, DPA SA is committed to providing top-tier, sustainable energy solutions.”

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