Keeping South Africa’s lights on

Aerial view of South African solar farm

South Africa has been heavily dependent on fossil fuels to provide energy solutions for the country. However, with the ongoing depletion of natural resources, renewable energy is a more sustainable alternative. Solar, biomass and wind energy systems are being implemented nationwide to feed clean energy into the strained electrical grid.

The Challenge

TerniEnergia, an Italian-based renewables and energy efficiency company, has developed two plants in rural South Af rica. To facilitate the construction and operation of the plants, a reliable and secure internet connection was required. However, due to the remote locations of the sites, limited network infrastructure made this challenging.

The Solution

TerniEnergia partnered with Avanti Communications to provide reliable and secure high speed satellite broadband connectivity to its photovoltaic renewable energy plants. Avanti’s Ka-band technology supports Virtual Private Networks (VPN), ensuring IP traffic remains secure and encrypted from end-to-end.

With 100% coverage of South Africa, Avanti’s HYLAS 2 satellite provided the high speed downlink and uplink connection vital for TerniEnergia to support their operations and remote reporting.

TerniEngergia sites are located in Paleisheuwel and Tom Burke in the Western Cape. The energy plants supply 82.5MW and 66MW of solar power respectively

The Results

Bringing its power plants online has been crucial for TerniEnergia in improving efficiency and ensuring sites are securely connected at all times. Reliable connectivity has enabled the plants’ employees to upload data on the progress of the plants’ construction and monitor the power production.

Additionally, welfare services can be accessed by employees, meaning staff can keep connected to friends and family via the internet, improving staff morale across the sites.Satellite broadband has been crucial in connecting the rural solar farms and has played a key part in being able to accelerate the delivery of solar energy across South Africa.

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