Intelligent Energy Inks Partnership to Take Fuel Cells into Indian Telco Market
UK fuel cell developer Intelligent Energy could be on the brink of opening up a major new market for its technology, after inking an agreement with Microqual Techno Limited to explore the use of fuel cells in the fast expanding Indian telecommunications industry.
The two companies yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding that could pave the way for a major deal, which would see Intelligent Energy provide its stationary fuel cell generators to support Microqual’s mobile network and wireless broadband base stations.
Microqual has exclusive rights from the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited and other state transmission companies to use transmission tower infrastructure in Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir to host telecommunications infrastructure such as base stations.
The company is planning to deploy telco infrastructure at thousands of towers, with its various agreements giving it access to around 85,000 towers.
However, the Indian power grid is notoriously reliable and as such telco base stations typically rely on diesel generators to provide back up or in some cases primary power.
The agreement with Intelligent Energy raises the prospect of a significantly greener and more cost effective approach whereby zero emission fuel cells provide power to the new base stations.
Peter Brown, managing director of Stationary Power at Intelligent Energy said the partnership would “deliver innovative and cost-effective ways to manage and accelerate the future growth of telecoms in India”.
His comments were echoed by Mahesh Choudhary, chief executive and principal founder of Microqual, who said that making use of existing power infrastructure while also providing reliable distributed power would help accelerate the roll out of mobile phone coverage in India.
“While using power grid infrastructure to mount telecoms and other equipment is prevalent in the West, we are the first to offer it in India,” he said. “By doing this, we will be able to deliver substantial savings from day one. With distributed power management as a core focus and an innovative business model offering OPEX based solutions, Intelligent Energy is the right partner for us to offer complete solutions to existing and new telecoms operators.”