Telkom Solar PV tender. pic credit NREL
The Telkom tender is for the design and construction of solar PV in the company’s parking area. Pic credit: NREL

In South Africa, national telecommunications service provider Telkom has issued a tender for the design and construction of a 3MW solar photovoltaic power plant at its head office in Pretoria.

According to the tender document, the solar plant will form part of Telkom’s “Centralised Energy Centre Project”, reported htxt.Africa.

In the tender bulletin published on 17 August, Telkom requests responses from service providers to design, supply, and install the photovoltaic plant.

Interested parties should submit responses to the tender before 18:00pm (local South African time) on 27 August 2015.

The tender entails the “Procurement of a service provider for the design, supply and installation of the 3 mega volt-ampere photovoltaic plant pertaining to Telkom Centralised Energy Centre Project at Telkom Park in Centurion, Pretoria.”

Mega volt-ampere is a lesser-used electrical unit, and is equivalent to a megawatt unit.

Telkom going off-grid

The Centralised Energy Centre Project is an effort by Telkom to reduce its reliance on state-owned power utility, Eskom, for electricity.

The tender in question will be for the design and construction of solar power in the company’s parking area. This will be the first step towards producing almost all of its own electricity.

Telkom spokesperson Jacqui O’Sullivan told MyBroadband that they are placing solar panels in their parking area with the long-term objective of producing almost all of their own electricity.

Clean history at Telkom

Green energy is nothing new for the company. In 2009, Telkom said environmental sustainability was core to its business, reported MyBroadband.

Telkom’s Cybernest data centre was also named the winner of the 2011 South Africa Green Excellence in Technology Innovation Award in the Data Centre Market.

The judges praised Cybernest for saving 4.7kWh of power per year, which was the highest energy saving in the data centre market at that time.

Cybernest’s award

The Frost & Sullivan assessment of the 2011 award stated that: “Through their commitment to innovation and the environment, Cybernest has managed to deliver a data centre facility that is on par with the top 10% energy-efficient data centres in the world.

“In addition, the company has managed to not only leapfrog its competitors … but also pass cost savings to their customers while reducing their carbon footprint.”