Galliford Try Telecoms installs innovative mobile mast

Topic Projects, Carbon, Sustainability

Date 17 Jun 2022

Galliford Try’s Telecoms business has installed the UK’s first-ever renewable-powered mobile phone mast at Eglwyswen in Pembrokeshire, on behalf of infrastructure business Cornerstone and network provider Vodafone.

The specially designed mast, manufactured by Crossflow Energy, which potentially removes the need for a connection to the national electricity grid, can provide connectivity to ‘not-spots’ in the UK’s most remote and inaccessible locations.

It utilises a unique wind turbine and solar panel combination, together with a battery array, which offers considerable cost and time savings on power installation and supply and reduces the carbon footprint of the mast supporting Vodafone’s target of reaching Net Zero UK operations by 2027.

Galliford Try were appointed as the Design and Build partner for the project through its ongoing framework agreement with Cornerstone.

Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer and Development Director, Vodafone, said: “Connectivity is vital to everyone, no matter where you live. 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.”

Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales, said: “Improving mobile coverage and digital connectivity across Wales is a priority for the UK Government and is hugely important for our economy.

“As we look to create more sustainable growth and jobs, it is fantastic to see green innovation being trialled in our rural communities.”

Martin Barnes, CEO, Crossflow Energy, said: “We are incredibly excited to be partnering with Vodafone on this UK first. Until now, the use of ‘small wind’ turbines in the race to net zero has been limited due to issues of performance, reliability, and planning concerns, such as noise, vibration, and damage to ecology.

“The unique design of our wind turbine addresses all these challenges head on. We believe that one day its use could be as widespread and commonplace as solar panels.”

Rhys Phillip, Chief Executive Officer, Cornerstone, said: “As the UK’s leading tower company, we are proud to be involved in this landmark project, driving innovation to create scalable, sustainable connectivity solutions. We look forward to our continued collaboration on our journey towards environmentally friendly site designs.”

Andy Duggins, Managing Director, Galliford Try Telecoms, said: “The successful delivery of this complex project was an excellent example of collaborative working to achieve a common goal. Pioneering low carbon design and build solutions is a key part of Galliford Try’s Sustainable Growth Strategy and this project could prove a gamechanger in providing connectivity to remote areas of the UK.”