O2 Ireland first in green trial


O2 Ireland has revealed the first of its “green” base stations is located in Knockaleva, County Louth, using only renewable energy.

The site runs completely on a hybrid of wind turbines and solar panels, requiring no electricity connection. The sustainable base station was established by O2 in December 2008, the first of a year-long trial.

As well as being the first of its kind in Ireland, it is also a first for the Telefonica group worldwide as part of its goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 per cent. The site in Ireland reduces CO2 emissions by more than 44 tonnes per year.

The initiative has been partly funded by Sustainable Energy Ireland and the structure will pay for itself over three years.

O2 engineer Bernard Colgan said: “The solution has so far exceeded our expectations in terms of performance with zero disruption in service for customers. It has also proven itself to be extremely robust, even during adverse weather conditions of winds exceeding 100 miles per hour.”

Fellow O2 engineer Patrick Patton added: “Not all our existing sites would be suitable to convert to this wind and solar solution, however the solution would be very suitable in rural areas where electricity connectivity is a problem or in the case of new builds.”

O2 is also exploring ways to upgrade sites with high wind energy profiles to allow them to export energy back to the power grid when it is produced in excess. However, a wider rollout cannot be scheduled until

O2 can gain support from the Commission of Energy Regulation.

An O2 spokesperson said: “The self sustaining base station in County Louth represents a huge step for O2 and our commitment to being a corporately responsible company. It shows that we are serious about the impact we have on the environment and that we are continuously looking for ways to become greener by removing the need for energy produced from fossil fuels.

“Since March 2007, O2 has been sourcing its electricity supply from green energy supplier Energia, reducing our carbon emissions by 24,000 tonnes per year.”