edotco Malaysia recently announced the successful deployment of a hybrid renewable energy solution with fuel cells to power remote, off-grid sites in Sabah, reaffirming its commitment to championing sustainability to positively impact the community and environment. edotco Malaysia is part of the edotco Group, a subsidiary of the Axiata Group.
Pioneered by edotco Malaysia to enable connectivity even in the remotest of areas, this complete off-grid solution is able to generate clean energy to power base transceiver stations (BTS) located in remote areas with limited access to electricity grid.
The hybrid renewable energy project uses electrolyser-based fuel cells with hydrogen storage, solar and lithium batteries. Electrolyser-based fuel cells uses the excess energy generated from the solar power source to electrolyse water, producing hydrogen which is then stored until it is required. In addition to its reliability, the hybrid renewable energy solution reduces operating costs while staying environmentally friendly.
This solution paves the way for future uptake of hybrid renewable energy solutions in off-grid sites and can potentially accelerate the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure in remote areas to bridge the connectivity gap.
Commenting on the project, edotco Group Chief Regional Officer, Wan Zainal Adileen said, “edotco Malaysia’s commitment to enabling connectivity transcends physical limitations such as distance, terrain and grid access. The extensive distance and challenging terrain like in Sabah and Sarawak can present considerable challenges especially in terms of energy supply. Malaysia being in the equatorial region experiences high solar penetration and hence, solar is a naturally feasible source of cost-efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly energy. Additionally, it can be rapidly deployed even in challenged areas. This initiative falls well in line with our carbon reduction agenda and drive to champion sustainability in our business, reducing the impact to the environment through green engineering.”
edotco Malaysia partnered Solar NRJ who developed this Absolute Zero Carbon emission system in the deployment, which serves as a viable alternative to backup diesel generators currently deployed in sites not connected to the grid. The project further propels both companies’ pursuit of sustainable solutions.
Solar NRJ co-founder, Joseph Koh added, “The combination of modular technologies engineered for zero carbon emissions is unique. We are pleased to be involved as system integrators in this successful trailblazing implementation. The solution is robust, requiring minimal maintenance and no additional fuel. Moreover, it deters potential thefts as it is time consuming to steal, compared to conventional batteries and fuel tanks, and have little to no resell value.”
edotco Malaysia owns and operates a portfolio of over 10,000 towers across the nation which include some that are off-grid. The hybrid renewable energy project will be expanded to more of these sites where solar can be readily harnessed.
As of end of December 2018, approximately 1,100 sites across edotco’s regional footprint have been installed with renewable energy systems. Excess power generated from these sites is channelled to surrounding rural communities to improve the quality of lives of the nearby communities.
edotco Group currently owns and manages over 28,500 towers across the six countries – Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Over the past five years the company has been committed to ensuring the right sharable infrastructure is constructed and efficiently managed to assist mobile operators in delivering cost effective and seamless connectivity.