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Sark test bed for solar powered mobile network

Posted: Monday 20 June 2022

JT has installed six solar panels on Little Sark as part of a trial to see whether further mobile sites in the Channel Islands can be powered by renewable energy.

The panels, which were installed by the Little Green Energy Company, will maintain the batteries that power the antenna which provides JT’s mobile phone coverage in Little Sark. If successful, this model could be used at other JT sites across the Channel Islands, meeting JT’s commitment to reduce the company’s reliance on power from the grid.

Joseph Donovan, Private Circuit Project Manager, said: “Operating in Sark provides its own challenges, so it’s the perfect place for JT to test equipment that needs to work with minimal intervention and maintenance. This trial will provide an opportunity for our engineers to gauge how well our network will handle calls and data using 100% renewable energy. The mobile site will use the electricity grid to provide the initial charge of the batteries, but after that, it’s the power of the sun that will keep those charged up and working, day and night.’’

Six panels have been set up next to the small mobile radio site, using kit specially designed to run in remote areas that are not connected to the grid. If the trial is a success, it is hoped that more of JT’s equipment and infrastructure can be transferred to sustainable sources of power.

Tom Noel, Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, added: “We have set out to make significant reductions in the amount of carbon emissions our activities generate. Everything we do, from decisions made by JT’s Board to the vehicles our engineers drive, must fit into the strategic goals we have set to become carbon neutral. Our renewable energy initiatives will make a real difference and we are proud to be backing this project in Sark to reduce emissions and our carbon footprint. We’re really hoping that during the summer it will run 100% of the time on solar power, providing a greener way to run our network in Sark.”

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