Pan-African operator Vodacom has installed three new solar-powered sites in South Africa as part of what it describes as its energy and carbon management strategy and commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.
Vodacom has installed the new solar-powered sites in Polokwane, Vereeniging and Bloemfontein.
The company says it has invested over R8 million (just under $564,000) in these solar-powered sites, as part of its ongoing commitment to securing alternative energy sources to power its operations where feasible. These three sites are in addition to a solar project installed at a base station controller site in Randburg, Gauteng, in May last year.
Collectively, the three new sites will generate approximately 127 MWh of energy on an annual basis, which will help to reduce the telco's carbon emissions and lower its electricity consumption. The solar panels will also ease the load on the sites' batteries in the event of load-shedding, ensuring network reliability, quality and seamless connectivity for customers.
Last year, Vodacom says it saved a total of 11,971 MWh of electricity through its energy management strategy, which included investing in energy-efficiency projects such as IoT capabilities and renewable energy solutions like solar power. This reduced the company's total energy cost by R16 million (about $1.13 million) for that financial year.
There are an estimated 1,088 solar-powered sites across all of Vodacom's markets. Solar even helps to power some of the company’s offices. Vodacom installed a large single rooftop solar installation at its Century City offices in Cape Town in 2012, while Vodacom Lesotho's head office has been powered by solar energy since 2017.