Airtel data centre unit prepares for hydrogen cells - Mobile World Live

Airtel data centre unit prepares for hydrogen cells

13 SEP 2022

Bharti Airtel claimed its data centre subsidiary will be the first company in the sector in India to install hydrogen fuel cells at a facility, as the unit moves to reduce carbon emissions by using a greener fuel supply.

In a statement, the operator explained Nxtra by Airtel plans to employ hydrogen cells from Bloom Energy, enabling a facility in Karnatakaon to run on natural gas and then switch to 50 per cent hydrogen in future without any significant investment.

It noted the natural gas-powered cells will be the primary energy used to generate power, with the electrical grid and generators as backup.

Nxtra COO Rajesh Tapadia stated the company is committed to “setting new benchmarks in sustainability for the data centre industry”.

“With an ambition to reach net zero by 2031, we have embarked on our sustainability journey by making all possible efforts to adopt innovative energy solutions.”

Tim Schweikert, senior MD for international business development at Bloom Energy, said its technology can help India meet decarbonisation goals as it transitions to a hydrogen economy.

Nxtra runs 12 large and 120 edge data centres across India, with plans invest INR50 billion ($632 million) over the next four years to expand its capacity by three-times.

In 2021, Airtel vowed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its operations by 50 per cent over a ten year period.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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