Liquid Telecom cuts costs by using 100% solar for Nairobi data centre

06 March 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Liquid Telecom is moving to 100% renewable power for its data centre in Nairobi, saying up to $44,000 in fuel each year.

The East Africa Data Centre (EADC) already uses 72.6% of its power from renewable sources, general manager Dan Kwach told Kenyan media, but the company will move to 100% by the end of the year.

EADC is turning to Distributed Power Africa (DPA) – a sister company within the Zimbabwe-based Econet group – for the green energy project.

Norman Moyo, CEO of DPA, told the Star newspaper in Kenya: “This solar project is a 25-year asset that is specially designed for mature telco processes and systems, and through our operational management, maximise the output against its expected lifespan.” DPA will install solar panels on the EADC’s rooftop, pathways and car park.

Solar energy is about two-thirds the cost of electricity from diesel-powered generators in Kenya. Diesel-sourced electricity costs $0.18 per kilowatt-hour. The feed-in-tariff for solar energy connected to the grid is just $0.12/kWh. (The average cost of electricity in the UK is just under $0.20/kWh.)