Bharti Infratel, the passive infrastructure arm of Bharti Airtel, has partnered with OMC Power to electrify telecom tower sites of the telecom giant in rural areas using renewable energy.
Under the partnership, OMC will set up micropower plants in Bharti Infratel’s off-grid and poor grid telecom tower sites in rural areas using renewable energy sources, Bharti Airtel said in a statement today.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
This will help reduce the use of diesel-powered gensets currently used to power these towers.
The initiative will complement Bharti Infratel’s green initiatives called ‘GreenTowers P7’, under which the company is actively promoting the use of renewable sources to power its towers, it added.
Bharti Infratel currently has over 33,000 towers, of which nearly 9,000 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 the 10-year agreement.
“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,” Bharti Infratel Chief Technical Officer and Head of O&M Sairam Prasad said.
OMC has partnered 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.
“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 Power co-founder and CEO Anil Raj said.