Airtel greens its data centres with solar power deal

07 April 2021 | Antony Savvas

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Bharti Airtel has commissioned a 14 MW captive solar power plant to meet the green energy requirements of its core and edge data centres in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

The facility in Tilhar, Shahjahanpur, is the first of the two solar plants being set up by Airtel in partnership with AMP Energy. The second plant at Begampur, West Bengal is expected to go live in the next quarter.

The openings will provide a major boost to Airtel’s initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. Airtel had previously acquired a 26% equity stake in AMP Solar Evolution as part of its commitment to green energy solutions.

The Nxtra by Airtel business unit currently operates 10 large and 120 edge data centres across India. During FY 2022, it aims to meet over 50% of its power input through renewable energy sources, contributing to Airtel’s overall carbon targets in a big way.

Rajesh Tapadia, CEO of Nxtra Data, said: “As a responsible corporate green energy is top of the agenda for Airtel. We take pride in being ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing sustainability initiatives.”

Airtel says it is aligned to the Paris Climate Accord and that it benchmarks itself against global standards. It is implementing clean fuel-based power solutions for its towers, data centres, switching centres and other facilities.

Earlier today, it was announced that Bharti Airtel had sold some chunks of its mobile spectrum to rival Reliance Jio Infocomm, in areas covering the southern state Andhra Pradesh, capital Delhi and India's biggest city Mumbai.