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Africa Data Centres, DPA SA construct solar farm in Free State

By , Africa editor
South Africa , 08 Apr 2024
Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centres.
Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centres.

Africa Data Centres announced today that it has begun construction on a solar farm in the Free State, in partnership with DPA Southern Africa.

The announcement made by the Cassava Technologies subsidiary is an essential part of the 20-year Power Purchase Agreement that it signed in March 2023 with DPA Southern Africa.

DPA Southern Africa is a 50:50 joint company of Distributed Power Africa and French utility company, EDF and the two companies intend to develop hybrid energy solutions for clients across Africa.

The Free State farm's goal is to provide renewable energy to Africa Data Centres facilities, starting with its carrier-neutral data centre in Cape Town, the CPT1 facility.

This follows analysts' recent warning that data centres in Africa will face increased regulation and demands for transparency over their energy and water usage.

Senior industry insiders have previously warned that demand for sustainable data centres will increase as customers become more aware of organisations' environmental credentials.

According to Cassava Technologies' president and group CEO, Hardy Pemhiwa: “This is in line with a broader industry shift towards innovative, eco-friendly practices. The strategic use of solar power showcases technology's role in pioneering solutions for energy challenges and environmental sustainability.”

Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centres, underscored the commitment to powering all data centres with clean, renewable energy sources.

He said: "Today's announcement represents a significant stride in our initiative to energise South African data centres sustainably, advancing our objective of achieving carbon neutrality. The first phase involves constructing the 12MW solar infrastructure to power our Cape Town data centre, with subsequent phases extending to our Johannesburg data centres.

"Data centres worldwide face scrutiny for their reliance on grid power and renewables, and Africa is no exception. Africa Data Centres is actively addressing this issue by generating renewable energy, alleviating strain on the local grid. Additionally, our sustainability objectives encompass achieving net-zero status at all facilities, making this project another significant stride towards reaching that goal.”

Nawfal El Fadil, CEO of DPA SA, commented: “At the heart of our collaboration lies a shared understanding that the path to carbon neutrality extends beyond infrastructure – it demands innovation, expertise, and collective determination to overcome challenges. DPA SA, backed by EDF's legacy, brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record in delivering high-quality, sustainable energy solutions to this partnership."

He added: "We take immense pride in supporting Africa Data Centres on this journey, being among the pioneers in launching a wheeling solar plant, thereby paving the way for a greener, more sustainable future in South Africa." 

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