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Vodafone is set to announce it will build one of Africa’s greenest commercial buildings as a base for testing new ways of using renewable energy across its global network.

Based in Midrand, South Africa, the innovation centre will examine how the company can reduce carbon emissions through the use of renewable energy, as well as batteries. The centre will also look at how to reduce the running and deployment cost of base station sites. Findings will be shared across the Vodafone group.In developing markets such as South Africa, Vodacom base stations sometimes need to be situated in remote areas with limited or no access to grid power in order to connect isolated communities. Renewable energy from solar panels and wind turbines can offer an alternative to diesel generators in such off-grid sites.

The innovation centre itself is being constructed to stringent guidelines from the Green Building Council of South Africa to significantly reduce or eliminate its impact on the environment.

Steve Pusey, Vodafone Group Chief Technology Officer said: ‘We want to explore how solar and wind power can help to connect isolated communities, reduce carbon emissions and reduce energy costs. As well as being a beacon for environmental construction, Vodacom’s innovation centre will help us to develop even more efficient networks.’

The innovation centre is expected to be completed by 2012.

 

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