The mast will provide 4G coverage and was developed in partnership with Crossflow Energy and Cornerstone
As part of its broader goal of reaching net zero UK operations by 2027, Vodafone is trialing the UK’s first live wind- and solar-powered mobile phone mast in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The mast, which will provide 4G coverage to the community of Eglwyswrw, was developed in partnership with wind turbine technology specialists Crossflow Energy and mobile infrastructure partner Cornerstone, and is expected to help Vodafone reduce carbon emissions and reach its climate targets while also providing connectivity some of the most remote and inaccessible locations in the UK.
“Connectivity is vital to everyone, no matter where you live,” commented Andrea Dona, chief network officer and development director, Vodafone. “This self-powering mobile phone mast, with on-site battery storage, could help us connect places that were previously impossible to reach. It will also help us reduce carbon emissions and minimise our impact on local environments. If this trial is a success, we would like to roll out more ‘self-powering’ masts, with a focus on areas with poor or no coverage.”
According to Vodafone, the mast is capable of generating power even in light winds, and it can be installed without the need to dig trenches and lay electricity cables, both of which have a tremendous impact on the local environment.
“It is also extremely quiet, making it viable for sensitive sites such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It can also be ‘filtered out’ as a solid object by radar, birds and bats, so it is easily avoided, making it less harmful to wildlife,” Vodafone stated.
The mast will run for two years, gathering data that Vodafone hopes will help optimize the technology and determine which sites are most suitable for such infrastructure.
Additional climate action enacted by Vodafone includes a switch to 100% renewable electricity, reducing CO2 emissions by 37%, trialing electric vehicle charging points and a recent 10-year power agreement with three new solar farms in Lincolnshire, Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire.