The Indian government’s e-governance services arm Common Services Center (CSC) has announced a collaboration with the leading power company Tata Power to set up solar-powered micro grids and water pumps in rural areas across the country. As per the partnership, Tata Power plans to set up 10,000 micro grids to support rural customers. Moreover, over 375,000 CSCs will be involved in supplying solar water pumps to farmers. These CSCs will also help in setting up micro grids in residential and commercial establishments in rural areas.

These micro grids will be supported by CSC village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) at the ground level, who will help in providing connections to rural citizens including MSME units. They will also be given relevant training for installation of domestic and commercial connections. The power through these distributed systems would be affordable and of better quality. Moreover, it would create opportunities in local employment and skill enhancement as well.

Further, as solar power is limited to a few hours during the day, there are various provisions planned to supplement this solar power when it is unavailable. Tata Power plans to utilize battery-based energy storage systems as well as biomass-based power systems to ensure continuous power supply. A pilot project in five villages of Lakhimpur district has already been started by Tata Power.

This partnership will enable CSC to provide clean energy solutions to farmers and rural enterprises. Further, it will enable Tata Power to get a better grasp over the potential rural market. This association is in line with the Government of India’s plans to solarise the country’s irrigation space and provide water security to small and marginal farmers in the country.