Bharti Infratel, Bharti Airtel's tower arm, on Thursday said that OMC Power, a renewable energy service company, will set up micropower plants in Bharti Infratel's off-grid and poor grid telecom tower sites in rural areas using renewable energy sources.
The initiative will complement Bharti Infratel's green initiatives called 'GreenTowers P7', under which the company is actively promoting use of renewable sources to power its towers, the company said in a statement.
It said that this would help reduce the use of diesel-powered gensets currently used to power these towers.
The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
"While great progress has been made in providing telecoms in rural areas, this has been largely achieved without grid-power availability, a key ingredient in providing telecom uptime to this critical infrastructure," Bharti Infratel Chief Technical Officer and Head of O&M Sairam Prasad said.
"Our micropower plants have been designed specifically for rural areas. We have moved power from capex to opex and can supply more electricity at a better price than operators can by doing it themselves," OMC Power co-founder and CEO Anil Raj said.
Bharti Infratel currently has over 33,000 towers, of which nearly 9,000 are in off-grid/poor grid locations.
Following successful joint trials, OMC has already built the first micropower plant in Uttar Pradesh as part of the 10-year agreement.