Data centre provider Teraco to enhance renewable energy capabilities in South Africa

Data centre provider Teraco to enhance renewable energy capabilities in South Africa

Teraco, Africa’s largest interconnection hub and vendor-neutral data centre provider, is planning the construction of a 120MW utility-scale solar PV energy facility in the Free State province of South Africa.

This comes after Teraco secured its first grid capacity allocation from South Africa’s state-owned power utility Eskom. The allocation from Eskom enables Teraco to connect its planned 120MW solar facility to the national electrical grid. The power generated will be wheeled across Eskom and municipal power networks to Teraco’s facilities across South Africa.

The company describes this allocation as an incredible opportunity to meet its near-term renewable energy goals while adding additional power capacity to a generation-constrained grid.

Jan Hnizdo, CEO at Teraco, explains: “This will be a unique approach in Africa since Teraco will not only own its data centre facilities but also a significant renewable energy source with which to power them, creating a sustainable energy path to support growth.”

When fully operational, the 120MW solar PV plant is expected to produce more than 338,000MWh annually. Bryce Allan, Head of Sustainability at Teraco, says: “In addition to this project, over the past two years Teraco has deployed approximately 6MW of rooftop solar integrated into its facilities, and this is to be increased to 10MW as new facilities become operational.” As part of construction design, Teraco facilities are built to maximise their solar yield potential.

Teraco has partnered with JUWI Renewable Energies South Africa and Subsolar to develop the solar PV plant, with JUWI appointed to design and manage the procurement, construction, and commissioning. A green loan has been raised to finance the building of the plant.

Teraco explains that wheeling renewable energy across electrical grids enables power to be moved from a renewable energy producer in outlying areas via existing transmission and distribution systems to end users located in urban areas. It also enables the deployment of renewable energy projects to areas with high energy yield to maximise renewable energy generation potential.

Power supply is a big problem in South Africa, one that is inspiring some novel solutions. Recently we reported that operator Vodacom had signed a virtual wheeling agreement with state-owned power supplier Eskom that, it claims, will help accelerate efforts to solve the country’s energy crisis.


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