The Common Services Center (CSC) and Tata Power, on Thursday entered in to a tie-up to set up solar-powered micro grids and water pumps in rural areas across the country.
To begin with, Tata Power proposes to set up 10,000 micro grids to support rural consumers and under the partnership, over 3.75 lakh CSCs, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) under the Ministry of Electronics and IT.
The partnership is in line with the government’s focus on providing solar water pumps and micro-grid connected to solar power for small and marginal farmers to provide them with financial and water security, CSC said in a statement.
As per the partnership, Tata Power proposes to set up 10,000 micro grids to support rural customers. These micro grids will be supported by CSC village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) at the ground level. VLEs will help in providing connection to rural citizens, including MSME units for commercial purposes. The power available through these units would be affordable, qualitatively better, decentralized and serviced by a local entrepreneur, it said.
CSC, on its part, will help Tata Power in maintenance of micro grids through its VLEs in many areas. Moreover, VLEs will also be trained in installation of domestic and commercial connection.
Piloting micro grid
A micro-grid has been piloted in five villages of Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh and learning from this will be useful in full roll-out. CSC SPV has also approached Tata Power with a request to support a rental model for solar water pumps, which can be provided to 6,000 Farmer Produce Organisations (FPOs), which CSC is setting up to support farmers across the country.
This association will result in employment to minimum two persons in each Panchayat, thereby leading to generation of 20,000 jobs for rural youth. Continuous power and Internet connectivity will also promote work-from-home and address migration issues.
“This partnership will increase energy access and provide an economic opportunity to the company by providing off-grid or microgrid power. This will help rural customers move away from burning relatively expensive fuels such as kerosene and can provide basic energy services and meet economic needs,” Dinesh Tyagi, Managing Director, CSC, said.
This unique collaboration will amplify the government’s ongoing campaign to provide clean and sustainable energy to households and businesses in rural areas, he said.