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Bharti Infratel, OMC to power mobile towers using green energy solutions

Aug 08, 2012

Bharti Infratel and OMC announce a partnership to power telecom towers in rural India using renewable energy sources.

Bharti Infratel, a leading passive telecom infrastructure provider, and OMC Power, a new Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO), today announced an innovative partnership for powering Bharti Infratel’s off-grid and poor grid telecom tower sites in rural areas using renewable energy sources. This initiative will complement Bharti Infratel’s award winning green initiatives called GreenTowers P7 under which the company is actively promoting use of renewable sources to power its towers.

Under this partnership, OMC will set up Micropower plants in off-grid and low grid locations. These power plants will 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. In addition, this 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 10-year agreement.

Sairam Prasad, Chief Technical Officer & Head of O&M at Bharti Infratel, said: "OMC Power is a very welcome renewable energy partner and we are delighted to join hands with them. While 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. The Resco model will help Towercos whose core competency is to enable telecom reach – and what better if it’s primarily based on green and renewable energy sources."

Anil Raj, co-founder and CEO of OMC Power, said: "Our Micropower Plants have been designed specifically for rural areas. We have 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 established 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. Using a hybrid of techniques means that at any point in time power will be drawn from the most suitable source with little or no wastage.

Areef Kassam, Manager of the GSMA’s Green Power for Mobile programme, said: "We are excited about this announcement. The telecom market is in need of more Renewable Energy Service Companies (RESCO) 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".

Source : OMC
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