Indian telecom company Airtel (Bharti Airtel) has commissioned a 14 MWp captive solar plant in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This solar project will help the company to meet the power requirements of its core and edge data centers in the state. The project is in Tilhar the Shahjahanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Earlier Airtel had acquired a 26 per cent equity stake in AMP Solar Evolution. The Tilhar project is the first of the two solar plants being set up by the company in partnership with AMP Energy. The second plant, which is being in Begampur, is expected to be commissioned in the next quarter. 

Data centres have large power requirements. ‘Nxtra by Airtel’ currently operates 10 large and 120 edge data centres across India, and it aims to meet over 50 per cent of its power input through renewable energy sources during FY 2022. The company is aligned to the Paris Climate Accord and is proactively implementing clean power solutions for its towers, data centres, switching centers and other facilities. In FY 20, the company achieved an average Carbon Emission reduction of 114% from the base year 2011-12 against Department of Telecom’s target of 30%.

Technology giants worldwide have started to work towards reducing their carbon footprint. These companies have energy-intensive data centres which are mostly run-on fossil fuels and contribute to carbon emissions. Procurement of renewable energy has become a popular way to offset these carbon emissions. Out of these tech giants, the Indian arms of Amazon and Microsoft have procured renewable energy in India, albeit at a much smaller scale compared to their global procurement. Other technology companies procuring renewable energy in India include Infosys, Cisco, Adobe and Qualcomm.

Headquartered in India, Airtel is a global telecommunications company with operations in 18 countries across South Asia and Africa. Its mobile network covers a population of over two billion people. By the end of December 2020, Airtel had approximately 458 million customers across its operations.