Vodacom in SA renewable energy drive
6 March 2013
South African mobile communications company Vodacom has joined the country's
renewable energy drive by unveiling the largest array of solar panels on a single
building in Africa at its offices in Century City in Cape Town.
The installation, unveiled on Tuesday, forms part of the firm's mission to reduce its energy consumption and is expected to contribute up to 75% of the electricity required during peak production.
"The electricity produced will feed into the two main distribution boards and a display panel, installed in the reception area of the building, and will display instantaneous power produced (yield), energy yield and carbon emission savings," Vodacom said in a statement.
Vodacom recently became a voluntary signatory to the energy efficiency leadership
network, which aims to improve energy efficiency in South Africa. It is one of 58
members of the network from the mining and energy, commercial, industrial and
manufacturing sectors, business associations and government departments.
'Stimulating the green economy'
"This commitment complements our existing environmental and sustainability efforts
to reduce carbon emissions within the organisation by 5% per annum until 2014," said Vodacom's chief officer of corporate affairs, Maya Makanjee.
"Through this particular project Vodacom aims to demonstrate that business can
take the lead in promoting renewable energy solutions, thereby stimulating the
Local small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) installed the panels as part of
the company's policy to improve socio-economic development.
Skills transfer also formed part of the project and a German engineer involved in the
project provided on-the-job training to local construction workers.
The roof tiles that were removed to make way for the panels were also all donated
to a community centre project in
This latest project to improve energy efficiency follows others such as the
retrofitting of base stations with free cooling and the construction of what is
regarded as the greenest building in the country, its Vodafone Site Solution
Innovation Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.
The building was awarded six stars for its water, energy and emissions efficiency by
the Green Building Council of South Africa in October 2011
"Through this initiative and other energy saving projects, Vodacom intends taking the
lead in trying to reduce dependency on conventional energy sources and it is our
hope that other companies follow suit," Makanjee said.
"We also want our customers to learn from our example and to become more aware
of their own carbon footprint."