Malaysia's edotco Group, an integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company that specializes in tower services, has deployed a hybrid renewable energy solution with fuel cells to power remote, off-grid sites in Sabah.
Using electrolyzer-based fuel cells with hydrogen storage, solar and lithium batteries, the off-grid solution can generate clean energy to power base transceiver stations (BTS), the company said.
But extensive distance and challenging terrains like in Sabah and Sarawak can present considerable challenges, especially in terms of energy supply, according to edotco Group Chief Regional Officer, Wan Zainal Adileen.
edotco Malaysia has partnered Solar NRJ, which developed an Absolute Zero Carbon emission system in the deployment
This system serves as a viable alternative to backup diesel generators currently deployed in sites not connected to the grid.
“The combination of modular technologies engineered for zero carbon emissions is unique," said Solar NRJ co-founder, Joseph Koh, adding that the solution also 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, which owns and operates a portfolio of over 10,000 towers across the nation, said the hybrid renewable energy project will be expanded to more of off-grid sites where solar can be readily harnessed.
Being in the equatorial region, Malaysia has high solar penetration. Hence, solar is naturally feasible source of energy. It can be rapidly deployed even in challenged areas.