Airtel’s Nxtra to deploy fuel cell tech to reduce carbon emissions at its data centres

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

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

“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,” Rajesh Tapadia, COO, Nxtra by Airtel, said in a statement.

“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,” Tapadia added.

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

“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.

Nxtra by Airtel has the largest network of data centres in India with 12 large and 120 edge data centres across the country and will invest over Rs 5000 crore over the next four years to expand its capacity by 3X to over 400 MW.

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