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Vodafone to hold ‘Dragon’s Den’ competition for renewable tower power

Vodafone mast with cow.jpg

Vodafone is to hold a worldwide Dragon’s Den-style competition to find ways to generate renewable power directly at mobile phone base stations.

This is an expansion on last month’s announcement by the group of a self-powered base station in the UK.

However, entrants have only three and a half weeks to enter the competition, which has two categories: technology solutions and partnership models. The deadline for submissions is 31 July.

Vodafone said: “The Renewable Power Challenge seeks new or better ways of powering sites in rural or remote areas without access to power grids, or where there are frequent power outages, while avoiding the use of fossil fuels on-site.”

The company is working on the competition with its African sister company, Vodacom, and its European tower business, Vantage Towers. Tomorrow Street, a Luxembourg-based development centre that is associated with the group, is also involved in the project.

Vodafone will invite successful finalists to move towards a proof of concept stage at sites within a Vodafone, Vodacom or Vantage Towers site.

The power challenge website (registration required) does not name any prize money, and adds that selection “may or may not result in a contractual agreement of which the decision is at Vodafone’s sole discretion”.

The competition follows Vodafone’s announcement of the first self-powering mobile site in the UK. This wind turbine technology, solar panels and on-site battery storage.

That trial is being delivered in partnership with wind turbine technology specialists Crossflow Energy, and mobile infrastructure services company Cornerstone.

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