A leading South African telecommunications firm has announced plans to run its headquarters entirely with on-site power.

Telkom, the country’s top broadband provider, has begun the first phase of its on-site power project with the installation of a 3 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) array covering 1800 carports at its Pretoria campus (pictured).

The campus includes office buildings and two data centres, with a total baseload power requirement of around 4 MW and a peak power need of 7.4 MW.

A tender for the solar phase of the project was issued in August of last year. The winning firm has not been named. 

According to South African media reports, the second phase of the project is planned to include a trigeneration system, for which the company intends to purchase three 1 MW gas engines. An environmental impact study will first be carried out to determine the effects of extending a gas line from 3.5 km away, a Telkom spokesman told technology news site TechCentral. And in an interview with the Financial Mail, the same spokesman said the firm is also considering the installation of multiple UPS systems. 

The company has said it aims to address the rising cost of purchasing power from state utility Eskom.