Bharti Airtel, one of India’s leading telecommunications service providers, will buy 23,000 megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable energy by March quarter of the current fiscal (Q4FY24) for its data centre company, Nxtra. The renewable energy will lead to reduction in emissions by 16,370 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually, Airtel says in an exchange filing today.

As part of its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, Airtel will acquire stakes in the renewable energy project companies established by Continuum Green India Pvt. Ltd. and Vibrant Energy Holdings Pte. Ltd. to power six of Nxtra’s Edge data centre facilities.

The purchase will be made through an open access route where Airtel will acquire stake in the project company of Continuum Green, which will supply green power from solar and wind power projects to its Edge data centres in Madhya Pradesh. Airtel has also entered into a similar stake purchase agreement with the project company Vibrant Energy to supply solar power to its Edge data centre in Vijaywada.

With the addition of these new capacities, the total contracted renewable energy capacity for Nxtra data centres will have exceeded 274,000 MWh and it will be well on its way to establishing itself as the leader in building green data centres, the release notes.

Ashish Arora, CEO - Nxtra by Airtel, says, “As a leader in India’s data center industry, Nxtra is committed to become a Net Zero Company by 2031. We believe that India’s growth will be mirrored by its Data Centre industry growth in the coming years and are committed to reduce our carbon footprint and lead the Green Data Centre infrastructure revolution in the country.”

Nxtra, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, has committed to reducing absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its operations by 100%, i.e., reaching net zero by FY2031 (with FY2021 as the base year). It will achieve this through multiple interventions including accelerated green energy adoption across its operations, energy efficient infrastructure and processes as well as by implementing sustainable business practices at its workplace.

Nxtra offers India’s largest network of secure, scalable and sustainable data centres across 120+ locations to leading enterprises, hyperscalers, start-ups, SMEs and governments. The company will invest ₹5,000 crores to double its existing capacity to over 400 MW in the next few years. This also includes investments in new facilities in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, and Mumbai.

In September last year, Nxtra partnered with Bloom Energy to deploy low environmental impact fuel cell installation at its data centre in Karnataka. The company is looking to become 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.

Meanwhile, shares of Bharti Airtel ended 0.1% lower at ₹865.05 levels on the BSE. Early today, the telecom heavyweight opened lower at ₹860.80 against the previous closing price of ₹865.90, while it touched an intraday high and low of ₹869.40 and ₹859.40, respectively, during the session. 

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