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Economic Times: Rockefeller Foundation pledges $75 million to light up 1,000 villages

NEW DELHI: The Rockefeller Foundation has announced a $75-million, or about Rs 467-crore, rural electrification programme for bringing clean power to a million people across one thousand villages in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar over the next three years through mini-grids.

The programme, ‘Smart Power for Rural Development’, aims to install 150 solar-powered mini-grids by the end of 2015, 500 by the end of 2016 and the balance in 2017 in villages which have either no or less than 10% of coverage by the national grid.

New Delhi-based Smart Power will partner energy service companies (ESCOs), telecom tower operators, investors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and government agencies in implementing this project.

“Rural electrification is littered with philanthropy. But these ESCOs are for-profit. We’re not yet ready for the for-profit only model. That’s why we have this hybrid or blended solution at this point of time to kickstart the microgrid model,” said Judith Rodin, president at The Rockefeller Foundation.

The foundation would provide bridge loan financing to the four ESCOs -Tara Urja, OMC, Desi Power and Free Spans — in addition to providing them techno-commercial support, facilitating their agreements with telecom companies and aligning it with the government’s overarching policy.



Interview: S. Prasad, CTO, Bharti Infratel

The telecom power challenge – Bharti Infratel’s CTO Sairam Prasad on renewable energy sources and green power for telecom

Watch the film on Youtube >>
OMC’s Youtube Channel >>

Full transcript:

“OMC Power is one of the first RESCOs in India with a very good innovative model where they set up a mini plant based on solar.



PRESS RELEASE: Bharti Infratel and OMC Announce Partnership

Bharti Infratel and OMC Announce Partnership to Power Telecom Towers in Rural India Using Renewable Energy Sources

New Delhi, August 2, 2012: Bharti Infratel, a leading passive telecom infrastructure provider, and OMC Power, a new Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO), today announced an innovative partnership for powering Bharti Infratel’s off-grid and poor grid telecom tower sites in rural areas using renewable energy sources. This initiative will complement Bharti Infratel’s award winning green initiatives called GreenTowers P7 under which the company is actively promoting use of renewable sources to power its towers.

Under this partnership, OMC will set up Micropower plants in off-grid and low grid locations. These power plants will generate electricity primarily using renewable energy sources and supply energy to Infratel’s tower sites. This will help reduce the use of diesel-powered gensets currently used to power these towers. In addition, this initiative will benefit rural households in the local community vicinity by supplying them electricity to power fans, lighting, televisions, and water pumps etc.