If you make the daily commute from Pretoria to Johannesburg, and pass through Midrand on the way, you’ve likely spotted the Liquid Telecom building on the side of the highway.

That building, which serves as a campus and data centre for the service provider is now a lot more green, thanks to the installation of a large-scale solar panel project by Distributed Power Africa (DPA).

It is a 1.2MW solar installation the firm tells us, and is one of DPA’s largest projects in South Africa to date.

“This solar deployment to Liquid Telecom Midrand is a major development in improving energy security for critical users like data centres.  It will improve their power security, and energy efficiencies. The power needs of data centres tend to be heavy and sensitive, and DPA’s engineering hopes to provide a reliable power supply to keep this operation running with no downtime,” explains CEO of DPA, Norman Moyo.

He adds that DPA designed and is engineering the Liquid Telecom Midrand solar plant as a combined carport and rooftop solution, which will come complete with a real-time power monitoring system.

“Using energy-saving and  environmentally friendly sources of energy is becoming increasingly important and companies should start looking at making them standard practice,” says CEO of Liquid Telecom South Africa, Reshaad Sha.

“Through this partnership with DPA, we are embracing cleaner sources of energy for improved information security to  achieve both cost and energy efficiencies.  We are also excited to draw value from our real estate, as we turn our roofs and carports into energy sources for our businesses, which is a real return on investment for us,” he concludes.

At this stage neither organisation has noted the expected power savings this project will result in, but it will be interesting to see the stats in the coming months and years, and gauge whether other firms can adopt a similar approach.