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Ballard to install fuel cell backup power in Jamaica

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 16:45 -- Laura Varriale
Ballard ElectraGen-ME system

Canada’s Ballard Power Systems is to deploy 13 fuel cell power systems to the Digicel Group network in Jamaica.

The ElectraGen-ME fuel cell backup power system is powered by methanol and is designed to provide extended runtime backup power. A fuel reformer converts a methanol-water liquid fuel mixture into hydrogen gas to power each fuel cell stack.

This is the second order the Vancouver-based company received from the Digicel Group, which will bring the total systems deployed at critical sites around the island of Jamaica to 25. 161 ElectraGen-ME systems are installed across the entire Caribbean region.

Most of the systems will be located at rooftop base station locations.

“There are inherent challenges with incumbent backup power technologies on rooftops. Our methanol-fuelled systems offer a practical solution to address those challenges and deliver meaningful value to telecom operators globally,” said Larry Stapleton, Ballard Power Systems vice president of sales.

Due to extreme weather conditions in the region, telecom networks are vulnerable to frequent grid outages, which have an impact on continuity of service to subscribers

Communications provider Digicel Group has over 14m customers across its 32 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific regions.