Nxtra to install fuel cell technology to provide clean energy

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Nxtra Data Limited, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, has announced that it has partnered with Bloom Energy to deploy low environmental impact fuel cell installation at its data centre in Karnataka, India, reducing carbon emissions through a cleaner, hydrogen ready fuel supply.

The data centre company will be the first in India to deploy fuel cell technology to reduce carbon emissions at its data centres, while unlocking potential cost and sustainability benefits.

Nxtra plans to start the unit on non-combusted natural gas and then switch to 50 per cent hydrogen in the near-future without any significant investment. The natural gas-powered cells will be used for primary generation with utility electrical grid and generators as backup sources.

Speaking about the partnership, Rajesh Tapadia, COO, Nxtra by Airtel, said: “Nxtra is committed to set new benchmarks in sustainability for the data centre industry and play a leading role as India emerges as leading data centre 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 centres.

“Bloom Energy’s technology is distinctly capable of helping India meet its decarbonisation 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 centres.”

Nxtra by Airtel boasts the largest network of data centres in India, with 12 large and 120 edge data centres across the country, and they are planning to invest over Rs 5000 crore over the next four years to expand its capacity to over 400 MW. The company has already invested and partnered with eight organisations to develop renewable energy power plants across India to source more than 180,000 MWh of renewable energy, and has committed to achieving 50 per cent of its power requirements through renewable energy sources in the next 12 months.

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