Telecommunications company, MTN South Africa, has launched a project to roll out small-scale wind turbines, and solar energy at its cell towers in South Africa in an effort to improve its resilience against load-shedding and complement its Net Zero efforts.
According to MTN, a small-scale field in Worcester, in the country’s Western Cape province has been identified for rollout of wind, as part of a trial to be implemented within a period of 6 months. Subsequently, a series of projects in the Eastern Cape will be implemented, where the country’s wind energy resources are highest.
“MTN continues to harness best-in-breed technologies to ensure we drive sustainable solutions across our network. Innovation in generating green energy is critical in achieving MTN Net Zero goals as we move towards fulfilment of our Ambition 2025 strategy,” said Charles Molapisi, CEO of MTN South Africa.
The telecoms company also highlighted that the wind turbines being used can be installed at various levels of a cell tower, in order to harness more wind energy. Wind turbines installed at highly elevated levels have a high energy generation yield.
Renewables to help MTN reach Net-Zero goal
With the installation of wind turbines and solar energy systems at its base stations, MTN is expecting to reduce fossil fuel-fed run time, through substituting diesel generators with cleaner energy alternatives.
The MTN Group, the parent company of MTN South Africa has set out to achieve Net Zero GHG emissions by 2040, 10 years earlier than the sector pathway as set out by the GSMA, the global telecommunications industry body.
The roll-out of renewable energy by MTN South Africa is aligned with the group’s Net-Zero goals. The telecoms company achieved a 13.9% reduction in absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions (tCO2e) in 2022, excluding MTN South Africa, against a 2022 reduction target of 3.5%. Including South Africa, the Group achieved 9.85% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 due to the challenges associated with loadshedding in MTN South Africa.
The telecoms giant affirmed that it is concentrating its efforts on decreasing its GHG emissions across all its operations as part of Project Zero. The company says it is reducing its energy use, and the investment in renewable energy will result in enhanced operational efficiencies, and extend the life cycle of its network equipment.
The telecoms company has outlined that under its four-phase green energy programme, activities will include onsite renewable deployment, off site renewable power purchase agreements, driving energy efficiencies at technical buildings, corporate buildings, and technical infrastructure.
Additionally, the company is embarking on energy efficient lighting replacement projects, decommissioning and removing legacy high energy redundant hardware.
“MTN is firmly on track to deliver broad, deep-rooted and beneficial alternative energy projects that make a difference to the planet, while ensuring we deliver network stability and excellence to our customers. Everyone deserves the benefit of a modern connected life, and innovation cannot stop as we work to deliver against this promise,” said Charles Molapisi, CEO of MTN South Africa.