NTT-Netmagic's first solar plant to operate as India lockdown eases
By Atul Ranjan
NEW DELHI, NNA - In its commitment to adopt green energy, data center company NTT-Netmagic (Netmagic) is set to launch operations at its first captive solar power plant in India as demand for power is growing rapidly in tandem with its business.
The 50,000-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Solapur in the western Indian state of Maharashtra will start running after the ongoing coronavirus lockdown is lifted, according to NTT-Netmagic, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan's NTT Ltd., a global information technology services provider.
“The plant was supposed to go live in April but got delayed because of the lockdown. Once it’s (lockdown) is over, we’ll be able to go live within a month,” said Sharad Sanghi, CEO Global Data Centers and Could Infrasturucture (India), NTT.
Under stringent shutdown since March 25 to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, India will gradually restart almost all activities in non-hotspots from June 8.
Although restrictions in high-risk areas such as Maharashtra state with its financial center of Mumbai will be extended till June 30, many curbs on activities will be eased step-by-step from June 3.
Set up following a partnership sealed last year with local firm Tata Power Co., the NTT-Netmagic solar plant will be able to meet 83 percent of the power needs of its data centers in Mumbai for a start. Its capacity could be expanded to generate an additional 50,000 kw solar power subsequently.
Headquartered in Mumbai, NTT-Netmagic offers state-of-the art data center and cloud services as well as remote infrastructure management to more than 2,000 companies globally.
“We are currently operating in four Indian cities—Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Noida, and are looking to set up more captive solar power plants to run our data centers in these cities,” Sanghi said.
NTT-Netmagic has been using renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar through open access or a third-party supplier to run operations.
However, the company decided to set up its own solar power plants to supply energy to the fast-growing needs of its data centers as it strives to optimize operating costs at the same time.
Netmagic plans to increase capacities at its data centers in Mumbai and in the southern city of Chennai. It is also expanding its cloud-based services further as demand has grown, especially during the lockdown.
“The disruption to regular business operations and the need to adopt remote working processes have led to a spike in demand for bandwidth and cloud storage in the country,” said Sanghi when explaining how the company has helped clients to operate from home during the lockdown.
“There is also an increased usage of cloud infrastructure since sectors like banking and finance have been promoting the use of digital channels such as online banking through apps,” he said.
NTT-Netmagic has enabled office clients to work from home through various ways such as online meetings and events, and remote working platforms while increasing their bandwidth.
“Since March, there has been an additional 20-25 customers a month seeking our cloud-based services to run their businesses amid the pandemic,” reported Sanghi.