(Alliance News) - Offshore wind turbines in the North Sea will power around 12,000 Vodafone Group PLC cellular network towers across Germany under a new deal that the mobile provider struck with German energy firm RWE AG.

Vodafone, a Berkshire, England-based telecommunications company, operates a total of about 26,000 towers in Germany.

The offshore wind farm, named Kaskasi, is to supply a total of 250 gigawatt hours per year beginning in 2026, the two companies announced in Dusseldorf on Friday. The electricity supply contract has a term of 10 years.

In return, Vodafone has installed a special offshore mobile radio station at the wind farm, which is located about 35 kilometres north of the German North Sea island of Helgoland, which will connect the technicians on site as well as drones and sensors.

The inspection drones would be controlled in real time using the mobile-phone connection in order to detect potential technical faults on the wind turbines at an early stage.

Networked human health sensors could also increase the safety of employees on site, the companies said.

"We are bringing modern 5G mobile communications to the sea to support the production of wind energy in Germany," said Philippe Rogge, who leads Vodafone Germany.

RWE manager Ulf Kerstin said that Kaskasi is now the sixth RWE wind farm in the German North Sea, with plans for a further cluster of turbines north of the barrier island of Juist that will generate 1.6 gigawatts of power.

Vodafone shares fell 1.2% to 65.80 pence each on Friday morning in London, while RWE shares were 0.9% lower at EUR32.00 each in Frankfurt.

source: dpa

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