In recent months local carrier Vodacom has been outlining its desire to have a better strategy as it pertains to sustainability. While the company’s plan is yet to fully take shape, that have taken a small step by installing a solar panel system at its Randburg base station in Johannesburg.

Vodacom says the newly installed solar panels will be able to generate up to 34kW of power, and serve as a supplementary power supply for the aforementioned base station.

Over the course of a year they add that the newly installed system could be responsible for as much as 50 000kWh of energy, which they hope will greatly reduce the carbon footprint that the base station was once responsible for.

The firm notes that this latest move was not only prompted by their desire to be more sustainable, but add that their dependence on a recently unstable power grid. Contributing to greenhouse gas emissions produced as a result of coal burned for said grid, were also major factors for Vodacom.

“The continuation of our investment in cleaner sources of energy shows Vodacom’s commitment to the sustainable growth of our operation and sustainability strategy where the protection of our planet remains key. In the past, we’ve installed solar panels at Vodacom offices as well as in our network infrastructure, however using solar energy to power our base station controllers is an area of opportunity for us,” explained Takalani Netshitenzhe, chief officer for Corporate Affairs at the Vodacom Group.

As far as when Vodacom plans to have similar systems up and running, the company says it plans to rollout similar energy-saving solar power installations to base station controllers across the country, in the near future, but did not divulge specific dates or locations.

For now Vodacom has solar-powered initiatives at its Lesotho and Century City (Cape Town) offices, with a further 950 solar-powered base station operations across the African continent.

[Image – Vodacom]