Africa Data Centres, DPA break ground on solar farm

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Data storage and services group Africa Data Centres has with its partner, independent power producer DPA SA, started construction of a solar farm in South Africa to supply its facilities with renewable energy.

The market for data centres, or physical spaces housing computers and processing data, has grown rapidly on sky-rocketing demand for faster computing from Africa’s banks and telecoms firms, but the facilities are highly energy intensive.

Fast connectivity provided by a submarine communication cable has helped make South Africa a key location, but the country’s frequent power cuts have meant additional costs have to be set aside for back-up power.

The first phase of Africa Data Centres’ project will involve constructing a 12 megawatt solar farm in the Free State province to power its Cape Town data centres, with subsequent phases extending to its Johannesburg sites, its CEO Tesh Durvasula told the press.

“Data centres worldwide face scrutiny for their reliance on grid power and renewables, and Africa is no exception,” Durvasula said. “Africa Data Centres is actively addressing this issue by generating renewable energy, alleviating strain on the local grid.”

The construction of the plant is part of a 20-year power purchase agreement signed in March 2023 with DPA SA, a joint company of the French utility EDF, aimed at tackling South Africa’s energy crisis.

Reuters/Hauwa M.

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