In December 2021, Orange signed an EaaS (Energy as a Service) contract with Engie to convert the GOS (Groupement Orange Services) to solar power by installing a solar plant on rooftops and solar carports for a total installed capacity of 355 kWp. This is to mitigate its environmental footprint, reduce the share of commercial electricity from non-renewable sources, and avoid using fuel generators.

The GOS is a resource-pooling entity for the 18 Orange Middle East and Africa (OMEA) subsidiaries which provides IT, service platforms, and pooled hosting and infrastructure operation services to all the subsidiaries.

The solar plant will comprise 784 latest-generation photovoltaic cells and will provide the data center with an estimated 527 MWh/year of renewable energy. The solar plant was designed to work 7 days a week in self-consumption mode (directly using the energy as it is produced by the sun at daytime)to cover about 60% of the data center’s daytime energy consumption.

The commissioning is scheduled for the second half of 2022, and the initiative to convert the GOS to solar power is in line with the plan adopted by the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. The plan aims to make the country the sub-region’s energy hub by 2030 with 42% of renewables in the energy mix.

Speaking about the project, Alioune Ndiaye, Chairman and CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, said, “This project is a first in West Africa for Orange in terms of its size and scope and it perfectly illustrates our ambition to speed up our solar projects in order to achieve net-zero carbon by 2040. In the rest of Africa and the Middle East, we have already implemented several initiatives, as equipping 5,400 telecoms sites by solar panels and building solar farms in Jordan and Mali. We intend to go further.”

Expressing optimism on the partnership and initiative, Armand Seya, CEO of ENGIE Services West Africa, said, “Engie Africa is active in electricity production, energy services, and decentralized solutions for off-grid customers across the continent. We are proud to support the GOS (Groupement Orange Services) in its energy transition having ensured the multi-technical maintenance of the Data Center since 2019 and now with the implementation of this solar plant.”