Digital communications solutions provider Bharti Airtel announced that it will begin sourcing power from a 14 MW captive solar project to meet the energy requirements of its core and edge data centers in Uttar Pradesh.
The facility in Tilhar is the first of the two solar projects being set up by Airtel in partnership with AMP Energy. The second project at Begampur is expected to go live in the next quarter.
These projects are being set up as part of its mission to reduce its carbon footprint.
Mercom reported in 2019 that Bharti Airtel had entered into an agreement with AMPSolar Evolution, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMPSolar Technology, to acquire 26% equity shares and compulsorily convertible debentures as part of a group captive solar project deal.
Data centers, which play a crucial role in the digital ecosystem, have large power requirements. ‘Nxtra by Airtel’ currently operates ten large and 120 edge data centers across India. During FY 2022, it aims to meet over 50% of its power requirements through renewable energy sources and contribute to Airtel’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.
Rajesh Tapadia, CEO, Nxtra Data, said: “As a responsible corporate, green energy is a top agenda for Airtel. We take pride in being ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing sustainability initiatives. We will continue to accelerate our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint through multiple interventions.”
Airtel said that it was aligned to the Paris Climate Accord. The company proactively implements clean fuel-based power solutions for its towers, data centers, switching centers, and other facilities. In FY 20, the company has achieved an average Carbon Emission reduction (CO2 /PB) of ~114% from the base year 2011-12 against the Department of Telecom’s target of 30%.
As part of its commitment to using clean energy, Airtel had acquired equity shares in Avaada MHBuldhana Private Limited, a special purpose vehicle owning and operating a captive solar power project in Maharashtra.
Many large corporations in India are slowly getting into renewable energy. As most states have made it extremely difficult to procure solar energy through open access by adding a slew of additional charges on consumers, group captive has become a more attractive model.
Unlike an individual captive or third-party sale power project, a group captive is an arrangement through which a developer sets up a power project for the collective use of multiple industrial or commercial consumers who have 26% equity in the project and must consume 51% of the power produced.