According to reports, the Tower and Infrastructure Providers’ Association is planning to float a Request for Proposal (RFP) inviting NGOs and private green power companies to generate and supply off-grid power to telecom towers in the country.
The Association proposes the ‘RESCO off-grid distribution model’ where renewable energy companies can set up renewable energy (RE) based power plants near the telecom towers and sell power to the telecom company at a predetermined cost. Additional power can also be sold to commercial users living in areas where the power plants are located.
“We will be issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) very shortly inviting companies which are willing to work on this model,” an industry source toldBusiness Line. The source said that the RFP will be floated a few weeks from now.
“We will try a pilot first, and if it works well, we will take it up on a long-term basis.”
This comes in the wake of TRAI’s recent regulation directing all telecom service providers to ensure that part of the power that is used for the towers comes from renewable sources.
Under the new rules, at least 50 per cent of towers and 20 per cent of the urban towers are to be powered by hybrid energy sources (renewable and grid) by 2015. The move is aimed at reducing carbon emissions due to increased dependence on diesel.
Telecom companies are today not willing to invest in infrastructure required to generate green power, but are willing to work with private companies to purchase green power.
The Association is learnt to be in talks with several renewable energy developers “including a Bangalore-based green power developer,” the source said.
“They are very open, they’re talking to us, and we will work positively in this direction,” he added.
Other sources indicate that Applied Solar Technology, one of the country’s largest off grid green power producers, is one of the companies that will work with telecom companies to supply green energy to the towers.