Read time: 3 minutes

Teraco confirms 120MW solar power wheeling deal

By , ITWeb
South Africa , 21 Feb 2024
Teraco's JB2 facility in Isando features solar panels.
Teraco's JB2 facility in Isando features solar panels.

Teraco, a vendor-neutral data centre operator, will begin construction of a 120MW utility-scale solar PV energy facility in South Africa's Free State province and has obtained its first grid capacity allocation from Eskom.

According to Teraco, the grid capacity distribution from Eskom will allow it to link its planned 120MW solar installation to the national electricity grid.

The company says the generated power would be sent to Teraco's facilities around South Africa via Eskom and municipal power networks.

‘Wheeling’ renewable energy across electrical grids allows power to be transferred from a renewable energy source in remote places to end customers in cities via existing transmission and distribution systems.

It also allows for the implementation of renewable energy projects in locations with high energy yields, maximising renewable energy output potential.

Teraco's statement comes as South Africa, the second-largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, is experiencing devastating power outages, forcing data centre operators to shift to renewable energies, particularly solar energy.

“This allocation is a significant step towards meeting our renewable energy ambitions and those of our clients. It is also only the first phase of our longer-term renewable energy commitment. We have been on a long journey over the last few years to obtain these approvals, and our aim now is to execute quickly on the opportunity,” says Jan Hnizdo, CEO, Teraco.

He adds: “In South Africa, we have various energy challenges, and this presents an incredible opportunity to meet our near-term renewable energy goals while adding additional power capacity to a generation constrained grid."

According to Hnizdo, this initiative aligns with Teraco’s long-term vision of powering digital transformation across Africa. South Africa’s solar resource is a source of competitive advantage for data centres relative to other locations.

When fully operational, the 120MW solar PV plant is expected to produce more than 338,000 MWh annually.

“This PV project represents a massive component of our plan to achieve our 100% clean energy goal,” says Bryce Allan, head of Sustainability, Teraco. “In addition to this project, over the past two years, Teraco has deployed approximately 6MW of roof-top solar integrated into its facilities, and this amount is to be increased to 10MW as new facilities become operational.”

Teraco has partnered with JUWI Renewable Energies South Africa and Subsolar to develop the 120MW solar PV plant, with JUWI appointed to design and manage the procurement, construction, and commissioning

In a first for Teraco, a green loan has been raised to finance the building of the plant, says the company.

Daily newsletter