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    Africa Data Centres and DPA SA breaks ground on solar farm in Free State 


    The Cassava Technologies business will use the energy for its Cape Town data centre (CPT1) first

    Cassava Technologies owned Africa Data Centres and DPA Southern Africa (SA) – a joint company of the French utility, EDF – have broken ground on their solar farm in the Free State. The first phase will power getting its carrier-neutral CPT1 facility while the second phase will see power being supplied to JHB1 and JHB2 once wheeling agreements with relevant municipalities conclude. 

    This announcement is a key component of the 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) inked in March 2023 with DPA SA. Cassava Technologies president and group CEO Hardy Pemhiwa said: “This initiative positions Africa Data Centres as a trailblazer in the data centre industry in responding to South Africa’s energy crisis through sustainable technology solutions. This is in line with a broader industry shift towards innovative, eco-friendly practices.” 

    He added: “The strategic use of solar power showcases technology’s role in pioneering solutions for energy challenges and environmental sustainability.” 

    “[The] announcement represents a significant stride in our initiative to energise South African data centres sustainably, advancing our objective of achieving carbon neutrality,” said Africa Data Centres CEO Tesh Durvasula. “The first phase involves constructing the 12MW solar infrastructure to power our Cape Town data centre, with subsequent phases extending to our Johannesburg data centres.” 

    “Africa Data Centres, as a pioneer in the data centre industry, has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability, aligning seamlessly with our company’s values. We are thrilled and honoured to contribute to Africa Data Centres’ mission of achieving carbon neutrality, beginning with the establishment of this solar power plant in the Free State to serve their data centre in Cape Town,” said DPA SA CEO Nawfal El Fadil.  

    “At the heart of our collaboration lies a shared understanding that the path to carbon neutrality extends beyond infrastructure—it demands innovation, expertise, and collective determination to overcome challenges. DPA SA, backed by EDF’s legacy, brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record in delivering high-quality, sustainable energy solutions to this partnership,” he added. 

    This project is a key element of Africa Data Centres’ plans to emerge as the “most sustainable colocation provider” on the continent. “Beyond procuring renewable energy, our commitment to an efficiency strategy has earned us the internationally recognised ISO50001 certification for the effective operation of our data centres,” said Durvasula. 

    “Data centres worldwide face scrutiny for their reliance on grid power and renewables, and Africa is no exception. Africa Data Centres is actively addressing this issue by generating renewable energy, alleviating strain on the local grid. Additionally, our sustainability objectives encompass achieving net-zero status at all facilities, making this project another significant stride towards reaching that goal,” he added. 

    Pictured left to right, all from Africa Data Centres: CEO Tesh Durvasula; business operations & strategy executive Wabo Majavu; CFO Finhai Munzara