MTN SA Launches an RFI for Zero Carbon Renewable Solutions

MTN South Africa has launched an RFI for zero carbon renewable “wheeling” and on-site renewable solutions for data centers across South Africa.

In a major move to unlock off-grid, clean and reliable energy alternatives, MTN South Africa has launched an RFI (Request for information) for zero carbon renewable “wheeling” and on-site renewable solutions for various data centres and base transceiver station (BTS) sites across South Africa. MTN SA has also signed its first power purchase agreement (PPA) with a renewable power producer and its first project in a major solar renewable energy generation rollout will launch soon.

MTN SA has signed a pledge with the SBTi, which defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, that formally commits MTN to a Net Zero 2040 ambition.

Various initiatives have begun to achieve this, including the construction of a solarpark at the MTN headquarters in Johannesburg, signing of the first power purchase agreement (PPA) with a renewable power producer and testing numerous solutions for further deployment.

Charles Molapisi, Chief Executive officer: MTN South Africa

MTN’s hybrid energy RFI calls for applicants to deliver innovative solutions across solar, wind, hydro and any alternative innovative solution that ensures there are no emissions associated with the generation of the energy. Wheeling refers to the transportation of electricity from a generator to a remotely located end-user and this may take place across different distribution networks.

Our aim with these two RFIs is to gain an edge through renewable energy solutions across the MTN footprint. Given the various challenges in South Africa, solutions must be scalable and offer high availability and efficiency.

Hybrid renewable energy systems provide green energy to power assets sustainably, reducing reliance on unstable grids and the carbon-emitting fuels that are driving global warming.

MTN continues to harness best-in-breed technology to ensure we drive sustainable solutions across our network. Innovation in generating green energy is critical in achieving MTN net zero goals as we move towards fulfilment of our Ambition 2025 strategy.

Charles Molapisi, Chief Executive officer: MTN South Africa

MTN SA aims to ensure these projects prove seamless integration with its telecommunication equipment to provide hybrid renewable energy generation for base transceiver station (BTS) sites and other asset classes.

By substituting fossil fuel-fed run time with alternative energy, a further benefit is that there will be a reduction in the amount of diesel burnt per site by reducing generator run hours.

In 2021, MTN Group President and CEO, Ralph Mupita signed the SBTi pledge and 2040 target.

This implies that our carbon emissions must be balanced and means that we need to apply more low-carbon and carbon-zero approaches. It entails utilising goods and services with zero or low carbon emissions, aligned with global standards. The sustainability projects we are rolling out in SA are aimed at doing just that.

Charles Molapisi, Chief Executive officer: MTN South Africa

To play its role in driving sustainability and meeting net-zero emission goals, MTN SA is making strides in the rollout of a four-phase green energy programme. Planned initiatives include onsite renewable deployment, off site renewable power purchase agreements and driving energy efficiencies at technical buildings, corporate buildings, and technical infrastructure. This includes energy efficient lighting replacement and the decommissioning and removal of legacy high energy redundant hardware.

Phase one of the approach involves transforming the 14th Avenue MTN campus into a solar park, which will see 40% less dependency on grid electricity. After performing technical studies on the campus, the preferred solution will see solar PV panels being placed on the at the campus, with a battery energy storage system (BESS).

MTN is firmly on track to deliver broad, deep-rooted and beneficial alternative energy projects that make a difference to the planet, while ensuring we deliver network stability and excellence to our customers. Everyone deserves the benefit of a modern connected life, and innovation cannot stop as we work to deliver against this promise.

Charles Molapisi, Chief Executive officer: MTN South Africa

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