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The solar systems to generate around 127 MWh of energy annually


Vodacom rolls out solar energy at three SA telecom facilities

The telecoms giant is looking to reduce its reliance on grid electricity and utilise renewable energy to minimise its environmental impact.

South African telecoms group, Vodacom, has installed three solar power systems at sites in Polokwane, Vereeniging and Bloemfontein. The installation is part of the telecoms group’s energy and carbon management strategy through which the company aims to reduce its impact on the environment.

Vodacom invested over R8 million in the solar projects as part of its ongoing commitment to securing alternative energy sources to power its operations. These three projects are in addition to a solar project installed in May last year at a base station controller site in Randburg.

Collectively, the three new sites will generate approximately 127 MWh of energy on an annual basis, which will help to reduce the telco’s carbon emissions and lower its electricity consumption. The solar panels will also ease the load on the sites’ batteries in the event of load-shedding, ensuring network reliability, quality and seamless connectivity for customers.

“As the demand for digital services grows, we will need more energy to keep these services running. In anticipation of this growth, and despite the current economic challenges, we are investing in strategies to decrease our energy consumption while reducing the use of carbon intensive sources of energy,” says Takalani Netshitenzhe, Executive Director of External Affairs at Vodacom South Africa.

Vodacom utilising solar to reduce its environmental impact

“By reducing our carbon footprint, our aim is to mitigate climate change and its effects on the planet. Solar-powered sites are just one of the innovative ways to introduce cleaner, more sustainable energy sources to keep our mobile networks running and our customers connected in an ever increasing digital society,” added Netshitenzhe.

The telecoms giant says last year it saved a total of 11 971 MWh of electricity through its energy management strategy. The company invested in energy efficiency projects such as IoT capabilities and renewable energy solutions like solar power. This led to the reduction of the company’s total energy cost by R 16 million for that financial year.

The newly installed solar energy systems in South Africa form part of the 1 088 solar-powered sites across all of Vodacom’s markets. The company also installed the largest single rooftop solar installation at its Century City offices in Cape Town in 2012, and Vodacom Lesotho’s head office has been powered by solar energy since 2017.

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