Vodacom’s Midrand campus in South Africa is being fitted with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels as part of the telecom operator’s sustainable strategy around energy management. This solution will enable Vodacom’s headquarters to generate approximately 10.8 gigawatt hours (GWh) of its own clean energy each year, or approximately 21% of the headquarters’ electricity consumption, reducing its dependence on coal-fired electricity from National Network.
“Everything we do is driven by our goal to shape a digital society that is not only inclusive but also sustainable,” says Sitho Mdlalose, Managing Director of Vodacom South Africa. “Reducing our impact on the environment is an integral part of this objective. That’s why we’ve committed to halving our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2025 while doing our important work of connecting all citizens for a better future. This, he adds, will be achieved in several ways, including through the generation of renewable energy on site.
“Vodacom South Africa is fully committed to our country’s sustainability journey. We are doing our part to support the government in its transition to a low-carbon economy under the Paris Agreement, which calls on countries to reduce GHG emissions to control global temperatures,” Mdlalose continues. Responsible corporate citizenship like this is also extremely important to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for climate action.
The journey to clean energy begins
The power purchase agreement between Vodacom South Africa and the local suppliers installing its solar system has been signed, with the target for completion of the first phase set for next March. Work will soon begin on the initial phase, which will see the installation of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof and carports of the telephone company’s head office. The first phase will provide 2 megawatts (MWp) of peak power generation capacity, increasing to 6.5 MWp after phases two and three of the project are deployed across the rest of the campus.
As electricity consumption is Vodacom’s biggest source of GHG emissions, its focus on energy diversification with solar projects like this is a huge step in the right direction. The amount of electricity generated by the Midrand project will help Vodacom reduce its GHG emissions by approximately 11,448 mtCO2e, with plans underway to pursue other initiatives like these across Vodacom South Africa’s operational footprint .
Clean power generation is not the only proactive solution adopted by Vodacom. The telecom operator will continue to prioritize energy-efficient practices, such as monitoring consumption through its Internet of Things technology. Vodacom will also increase the amount of energy it obtains from independent power producers through various power purchase agreements.
“These measures will strengthen our energy security so that we can continue to provide high quality connectivity to our customers while helping to achieve sustainability goals that combat climate change. If South Africa is to achieve its decarbonization goals, companies must lead by example,” concludes Mdlalose.