Namibian mobile company utilises wind power

Namibian mobile operator, MTC, has inaugurated its first fully-funded wind-powered solution to power its equipment in an area not served by the national electricity grid.

The N$230,000 (US$33,000) wind generator is situated on the Erindi Mountain at the Erindi Game Reserve in north-central Namibia.

According to a company statement, the wind turbine that has been installed at Erindi has a vertical inclination but MTC will in the near future install a wind turbine at Mile 108 that turns horizontally. The horizontal turbine is a new kind of turbine that is specifically suited for coastal regions. After Mile 108, a third wind generated system will also be installed at the base transceiver station (BTS) site on the Sossusvlei Mountain in southern Namibia.

Tim Ekandjo, MTC’s chief for human capital & corporate affairs officer said: “MTC applies these technologies to assure power to our equipment in areas not served by the national power grid. We also see this as MTC’s modest contribution to the reduction of carbon footprint, nationally and globally.”

The immediate benefit of the wind-powered solution for MTC is an increase in up-time. “In future MTC could feed excess power generated by these systems back into the national power grid, thus providing clean electricity to those communities who are currently using means that emit carbon dioxide to the ecosystem,” Ekandjo said.

In 2006, Motorola and MTC trialled a combined solar and wind solution at the Dordabis BTS station. This was a project driven by Motorola to investigate and test a solar/wind solution.

MTC has a number of BTS stations that are powered by a solar-only solution. In the raining season, with less sun available, MTC does experience outages on some of these sites and to prevent these failures the company investigated the option of adding a wind generator to the solar system to have a stable power supply all year round.