Africa Data Centres and DPA Southern Africa (SA) breaks ground on solar farm in Free State

Farmers Magazine
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Africa Data Centres and DPA SA have broken ground on their solar farm in the Free State; The first phase will see power getting wheeled to its CPT1 facility; The second phase will see power being supplied to JHB1 and JHB2 once wheeling agreements with relevant municipalities conclude.

Africa Data Centres, a business of the Cassava Technologies group, is pleased to announce that it has broken ground on the construction of a solar farm in the Free State in collaboration with DPA Southern Africa.

This announcement forms a crucial component of the 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) inked in March 2023 with DPA Southern Africa a joint company of the French utility, EDF. The objective of the Free State farm is to furnish renewable energy to Africa Data Centres sites, commencing with its cutting-edge, carrier-neutral data centre in Cape Town, the CPT1 facility.

According to Cassava Technologies’ President and Group CEO, Hardy Pemhiwa, “This initiative positions Africa Data Centres as a trailblaser in the data centre industry in responding to South Africa’s energy crisis through sustainable technology solutions. 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”.

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

Nawfal El Fadil, the CEO of DPA SA, states, “Africa Data Centres, as a pioneer in the data centre industry, has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability, aligning seamlessly with our company’s values. We are thrilled and honoured to contribute to Africa Data Centres’ mission of achieving carbon neutrality, beginning with the establishment of this solar power plant in the Free State to serve their data centre in Cape Town. 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.”

“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,” adds Nawfal El Fadil.

This project is a key element of Africa Data Centres’ ambitious plans to emerge as the most sustainable colocation provider on the continent. “Beyond procuring renewable energy, our commitment to an efficiency strategy has earned us the internationally recognised ISO50001 certification for the effective operation of our data centres,” Durvasula elaborates.

“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,” concludes Durvasula.

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