The government’s e-governance services arm CSCon Thursday announced a collaboration with Tata Power to set up solar-powered micro grids and water pumps in rural areas across the country. To begin with, Tata Power has proposed to set up 10,000 micro grids to support rural consumers through Common Service Centres (CSCs).
CSC e-Governance Services India Managing Director Dinesh Tyagi said the collaboration will amplify the government’s ongoing campaign to provide clean and sustainable energy to households and businesses in rural areas.
“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,” Tyagi said in a statement.
Under the partnership, over 3.75 lakh CSCs will be involved in supplying solar water pumps to farmers and help in setting up micro grids in residential and commercial establishments in rural areas.
The partnership is initially expected to create employment to a minimum two persons in each panchayat where microgrid are proposed to be installed, thereby leading to generation of 20,000 jobs for rural youth.
CSC CEO Sanjay Kumar Rakesh said the association with Tata Power will help it reach out to farmers and rural enterprises with clean energy solutions and will not only create new employment opportunities for Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) but also offer Tata Power a grasp over the potential rural market.
The micro grids will be supported by CSC 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, as per the statement.
VLEs will also be trained in installation of domestic and commercial connection.
“This association will also meet the energy requirements of CSCs and address the need of 24-hours supply of electricity to BharatNet in villages. A micro-grid has been piloted in five villages of Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh and learning from this will be useful in full rollout,” the statement said.
CSC has also approached Tata Power with a request to support a rental model for solar water pumps that can be provided to 6,000 Farmer Produce Organisations (FPOs), which CSC is setting up to support farmers across the country.