The UK’s first self-powering mobile phone mast was switched on in a Pembrokeshire field this week.

The mast is the UK’s first live wind and solar-powered mobile phone mast and is being trialled at Home Farm, Eglwyswrw.

The mast, which incorporates a wind turbine, solar panels and on-site battery storage, will provide 4G coverage to the community of Eglwyswrw and is being hailed as a way to increase connectivity in rural ‘not spots’.

The specially designed mast, which potentially removes the need for a connection to the national electricity grid, could provide connectivity in the UK’s most remote and inaccessible locations - helping the industry achieve 95% of UK landmass coverage by 2025.

It will also help Vodafone reduce carbon emissions and support its target of reaching net zero UK operations by 2027.

Western Telegraph: The mast incorporates a wind turbine, solar panels and on-site battery storage.The mast incorporates a wind turbine, solar panels and on-site battery storage.

The mast incorporates a unique Crossflow Energy wind turbine that can generate power even in light winds.

The trial mast is connected to the national electricity grid so can be ‘topped up’ if required. However, Vodaphone says it is exploring a range of potential options for remote sites with no national grid connection.

The mast is extremely quiet, making it viable for sensitive sites and can be identified as a solid object by radar, birds and bats so it is easily avoided.

The trial, in partnership with wind turbine technology specialists Crossflow Energy and mobile infrastructure partner Cornerstone, will run for two years. Data gathered will help Vodafone optimise the technology and determine which sites are most suitable for ‘self-powering’ masts.

“Connectivity is vital to everyone, no matter where you live,” said Andrea Dona, chief network officer and development director at Vodafone.

“This self-powering mobile phone mast could help us connect places that were previously impossible to reach.


Martin Barnes, CEO, Crossflow Energy, added: “Until now, the use of small wind turbines 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.”