Bharti Airtel announced on September 12 that its subsidiary Nxtra Data Limited has joined hands with Bloom Energy to deploy low environmental impact fuel cell installation at its data center in Karnataka, reducing carbon emissions through a cleaner, hydrogen ready fuel supply.
This venture will be the first ever data center company in India to deploy fuel cell technology in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions at its data center, thus reducing carbon emissions through a clearer hydrogen ready fuel supply, according to a press release.
Nxtra aims to start the unit on non-combusted natural gas and then switch to 50 percent hydrogen in future without any significant investment. The cells powered with natural gas will be utilised for primary generation with utility electrical grid and generators as backup sources.
Mr. Rajesh Tapadia, COO, Nxtra by Airtel, spoke about the partnership. “Nxtra is committed to set new benchmarks in sustainability for the data center industry and play a leading role as India emerges as leading data center destination in APAC. 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. Our partnership with Bloom Energy is a testament to our future-ready energy strategy to supply much cleaner energy to our data centers,” he said.
“Bloom Energy’s technology is distinctly capable of helping India meet its decarbonization objectives as it transitions to a hydrogen economy,” said Tim Schweikert, senior managing director, international business development, Bloom Energy. “We are proud to collaborate with Nxtra to support them in their pursuit of using clean, reliable and affordable power for their data centers, he added.
Nxtra by Airtel currently owns the largest network of data centers within the country, which is spread across 12 large and 120 extra edge centers across the nation. It aims to invest over Rs 5000 crore over the next four years to expand its capacity by 3X to over 400 MW. The company has already invested and partnered with 8 organisations to develop renewable energy power plants across India to source more than 180,000 MWh of renewable energy and is committed to achieving 50 percent of its power requirements through renewable energy sources in the next 12 months, the statement said.