Rooftop Solar PV System to Help Power Data Centre in Côte d’Ivoire

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  • Orange and Engie have joined forces to convert the telecom’s main data centre in Africa located in Côte d’Ivoire to solar power, helping to reduce its carbon footprint.

In December 2021, Orange signed an EaaS (Energy as a Service) contract with Engie to convert the Groupement Orange Services (GOS) to solar power by installing a solar plant on rooftops and solar carports, for a total installed capacity of 355kWp. This will reduce its environmental footprint, minimise the share of commercial electricity from non-renewable sources and avoid using fuel generators (fossil energy that emits CO2). The commissioning is scheduled for the second half of 2022.

This plant will be made up of 784 latest-generation photovoltaic cells and will provide the data centre with an estimated 527MWh/year of renewable energy. Its architecture was designed to work seven days a week in self-consumption mode. This means the data centre will directly use the energy as it is produced by the sun. This will cover close to 60% of the data centre’s daytime (7 am – 6 pm) consumption.

The GOS is a resource-pooling entity for the 18 Orange Middle East and Africa (OMEA) subsidiaries, which provides pooled hosting and infrastructure operation services, service platforms and IT to all the subsidiaries. The data centre was built in 2016 in Grand Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire, on a site covering 16,600 m².

Alioune Ndiaye, Chairman and CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa said this project is a first in West Africa for the telecom in terms of its size and scope. “It perfectly illustrates our ambition to speed up our solar projects in order to achieve net zero carbon by 2040. In the rest of Africa and the Middle East we have already implemented several initiatives, as equipping 5,400 telecoms sites by solar panels and building solar farms in Jordan and Mali. We intend to go further.”

Armand Seya, CEO of ENGIE Services West Africa explained Engie Africa is active in electricity production, energy services and decentralised solutions for off-grid customers across the continent. “We are proud to support the Groupement Orange Services in its energy transition having ensured the multi-technical maintenance of the data centre since 2019 and now with the implementation of this solar plant.

Author: Nomvuyo Tena

Nomvuyo Tena is a Content Producer at Vuka Group and is as passionate about the energy transition in Africa as she is about music and Beyonce. 

This article was originally published on ESI Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes.

Côte d’Ivoire’s energy sector will be a hot topic at Enlit Africa 2022  


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