Telecom Lead India: Bharti
Infratel has signed a partnership with OMC Power, a renewable energy service company,
for powering Bharti Infratel’s off-grid and poor grid telecom tower sites in
rural areas using renewable energy sources.
Bharti Infratel said the new partnership will boost its
existing green initiatives called GreenTowers P7 for promoting use of renewable
sources to power its towers.
OMC will set up Micropower plants in off-grid and low grid locations to generate
electricity primarily using renewable energy sources and supply energy to
Infratel’s tower sites. This will help reduce the use of diesel-powered gensets
currently used to power these towers. The new initiative will benefit rural
households in the local community vicinity by supplying them electricity to
power fans, lighting, televisions, and water pumps etc.
Bharti Infratel currently has over 33,000 towers, of which nearly 9000 are in
off-grid / poor grid locations. Following successful joint trials, OMC has
already built the first Micropower Plant in Uttar Pradesh as part of this
Sairam Prasad, chief technical officer & head of O&M at Bharti
Infratel, said wile great progress has been made in providing telecoms in rural
areas, this has been largely achieved without grid-power availability – a key
ingredient in providing telecom uptime to this critical infrastructure.
According to Anil Raj, co-founder and CEO of OMC Power, its micropower
Plants have been designed specifically for rural areas. The company has moved
power from Capex to Opex and can supply more electricity at a better price than
operators can by doing it themselves.
OMC has partnered with technology companies to build its micropower plants and
is using a combination of wind, solar, diesel and battery back-up to ensure a
constant supply of power.
AreefKassam, manager of the GSMA’s Green Power for
Mobile programme, said the telecom market is in need of more renewable energy service
companies like OMC, to help mobile operators and towercos reduce their costs at
off-grid rural sites. With over 1.4 billion people living without access to
electricity and 500 million off-grid mobile connections, operators are
constantly looking for new ways to provide a commercially viable service.