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Helios Towers Africa invests $40-million to reduce carbon footprint

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Helios Towers Africa (HTA), a telecoms towers company in Africa, has invested almost $40-million in implementing an energy storage and remote monitoring system to reduce its carbon footprint, an initiative which recently won the company the prestigious “Best Network Improvement” award at industry conference, ‘AfricaCom 2012’.

Helios Towers Africa has invested almost $40-million in implementing an energy storage and remote monitoring system (image: CommsMEA)

The hybrid power system uses state-of-the art control and battery systems to store sufficient energy to power a base station site for up to 12 hours a day, significantly reducing diesel consumption and CO2 emissions. 

This new system also reduces HTA’s reliance on generators without compromising its strong track record of delivering over 99.9% uptime on its sites across Africa.

Tony Pretorius, Chief Technical Officer of HTA, explained:  “All towers need diesel generators since grid power is often unreliable and many rural communities in Africa have limited to no access.  However, the generators are often costly to operate and in many cases, unaffordable for rural communities.  They are also noisy, require constant monitoring and emit significant amounts of gasses during combustion; for every litre of diesel over 2.6kg of CO2 is emitted.  We have already begun to reduce our CO2 emissions by more than a tonne per month per site which fits in with our wider corporate social responsibility programme.”

HTA’s hybrid power system significantly reduces the hours the generators run for which decreases the diesel consumption per site, which has added cost benefits for HTA’s customers as well as strengthening the company’s ability to offer site-up time in excess of the operators’ own capability, at lower costs.

Chuck Green, Chief Executive Officer of HTA, added: “Our new and award-winning energy storage systems drive down operational costs enabling HTA to provide a better, more cost-effective service and enable further expansion into Africa’s rural communities.

“The system can accept any source of energy from solar to wind as well as the more traditional sources such as diesel generators.  Since generators typically require fuel, servicing and replacement, involving significant in house and third party resources which in turn have their own operational costs and implications including remote monitoring, diesel supply, generator servicing, scheduling and utility management, HTA has also implemented a remote monitoring service across its network and has the capacity to roll out its hybrid power system across its African asset base.

“We are delighted to announce this investment, which is part of our wider investment into African telecoms infrastructure and in keeping with our intentions of leading the way in operating both economically and environmentally efficiently.”

Staff writer


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