Orange partners Engie to convert main Africa data centre to solar energy

Orange partners Engie to convert main Africa data centre to solar energy

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

Orange’s main data centre in Grand Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire, was built on a site covering 16,600 m² in 2016. The facility hosts IT and telecommunication equipment, which supports the services provided by the GOS to all OMEA subsidiaries.

The company says the GOS is one of the components of the Orange data centre network in Africa, which has Uptime Institute Tier 3 certification design.

It helps to advance digital equality by supporting States to develop agricultural, educational, and healthcare services and fosters entrepreneurship and local innovation.

The telco says the energy plant will be made up of 784 latest-generation photovoltaic cells and will provide the data centre with an estimated 527 MWh/year of renewable energy.

Its architecture was designed to work 7 days a week in self-consumption mode meaning the data centre will directly use the energy as it is produced by the Sun (during the day). This will cover close to 60% of the data centre’s daytime (7 am – 6 pm) consumption.

The initiative to convert the GOS to solar power is consistent with the plan adopted by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, which aims to make the country the sub-region’s energy hub by 2030 with 42% of renewables in the energy mix.

“This project is a first in West Africa for Orange in terms of its size and scope and 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,”said Alioune Ndiaye, Chairman and CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa.

Also commenting, Armand Seya, CEO of Engie Services West Africa said: “Engie Africa is active in electricity production, energy services and decentralized solutions for off-grid customers across the continent. We are proud to support the GOS (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.”