Orange and Engie join forces to convert West Africa data centre to solar
Telco operator Orange has joined forces with French energy giant Engie to convert its main data centre in Africa to solar power.
The focus of the project is Orange’s Groupement Orange Services (GOS) data centre located on a 16,600 m² site in Grand Bassam on the Ivory Coast.
The data centre serves 18 Orange Middle East and African (OMEA) subsidiaries by providing pooled hosting and infrastructure operation services, service platforms and IT.
As part of the Energy-as-a-Service contract that Orange signed with Engie in December, the GOS will be converted to solar energy by installing a solar plant on its roofs as well as solar carports – with a total installed capacity of 355kWp.
Orange said in a statement that the aim was to ‘reduce its environmental footprint, minimize the share of commercial electricity from non-renewable sources and to avoid using CO2 emitting fuel generators.’
The firm added that the plant is scheduled for the second half of 2022 and will comprise of 784 latest generation photovoltaic cells, providing the data centre with an estimated 527 MWh/year of renewable energy.
The centre will directly use the energy as it is produced by the Sun during daylight hours, covering close to 60% of the energy used between 7am-6pm.
The solar initiative is consistent with the plan adopted by the Ivory Coast Government to make the country the sub-region’s energy hub by 2030, with 42% renewables in the energy mix.
Orange’s CEO and Chairman of OMEA in West Africa, Alioune Ndiaye said that the project was a first for West Africa in terms of its size and scope and illustrated the firm’s ambition to speed up its solar projects in the region 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.”
Engie Africa has been responsible for the data centre’s technical maintenance since 2019 and its CEO of Engie Services West Africa, Arman Seya, added that it was proud to assist Orange in its energy transition.
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