Vantage boosts Joburg data centre with solar deal

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Vantage's Johannesburg data centre campus is expected to open in July.
Vantage's Johannesburg data centre campus is expected to open in July.

Vantage Data Centres, a global provider of hyperscale data centre campuses, has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with SolarAfrica, a South African solar energy financing firm, to supplement power needs at its data centre facility in Johannesburg.

In October last year, the company announced the beginning of construction on its new R15 billion state‐of‐the‐art data centre campus in SA.

In a statement yesterday, the US-based firm says this agreement will enable Vantage to supplement the local grid that powers the company’s Johannesburg data centre campus, which is expected to open in July, with renewable energy.

Additionally, this investment will drive the creation of renewable energy in the Southern African region by supporting the expansion of SolarAfrica’s De Aar solar project, says the firm.

It notes the Northern Cape is considered one of the most abundant solar sites in the world.

Within SolarAfrica’s larger solar farm, Vantage’s investment will support the production of 87MWp of renewable energy and is forecast to reduce the emission of CO2 in the region by an additional 3.8 million tons over the lifetime of the agreement.

At its completion, Vantage’s Johannesburg data centre campus will have 80MW of IT capacity, of which up to 33% is expected to be supported by the solar farm, the company says.

It adds the state-of-the-art campus, located in the thriving business and data centre ecosystem of Waterfall City, is situated on 12 hectares and will feature three facilities across 60 000 square metres once fully developed.

Vantage has invested in SolarAfrica’s De Aar solar project in the Northern Cape.
Vantage has invested in SolarAfrica’s De Aar solar project in the Northern Cape.

“Vantage’s investment in SolarAfrica’s De Aar project reaffirms our continued commitment to sustainability and our drive to reach net-zero by 2030,” says Justin Jenkins, chief operating officer of EMEA and president of the UK, Vantage Data Centres.

“Not only will energy from this investment be used to power our Johannesburg campus, but it will also serve as another example of using solar-driven energy across the data centre industry. In the near-term, solar energy faces increasing demand, driving prices higher across South Africa. This investment, however, will ensure a stable price for our customers.”

“With climate change being the defining challenge of our time, it’s crucial that we accelerate our carbon mitigation efforts to transform our planet into a sustainable green economy,” says Charl Alheit, SolarAfrica director.

“We are continually driven to assist our customers in reaching their green energy goals, while saving them money in the process. The rollout of the 87MWp solar farm for Vantage’s campus, which will be one of the largest in South Africa, is an exciting step for us as we gear up to help even more businesses save with cheaper, cleaner energy through wheeling.”

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