The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has welcomed the power ministry’s notification on the Second Amendment of the Electricity Rules, 2023 (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) that allows for aggregation of load by multiple connections served by the same electricity division of a Discom to avail the services of renewable energy under the open access route.
“This long-awaited development enables the telecom sector to actively participate in India’s commitment towards green energy and sustainable growth, while also enabling proliferation of services,” stated COAI.
Last year, the Ministry of Power reduced the green-energy open-access transactions limit from 1 MW to 100 kW to enable small consumers also to purchase renewable power through open access. However, telecom towers, which serve as the network’s backbone, have individual power energy load requirements of 10 kW each. Therefore, being treated as separate entities, telecom towers could not reap the benefits of green energy open access.
With the issuance of the second amendment by the Ministry of Power, any ‘entity’ (meaning consumer) with a contracted demand or sanctioned load of 100 kW or more, either through a single connection or multiple connections aggregating 100 kW or more within the same electricity division of a distribution licensee, shall be eligible to take power through Green Energy Open Access. This will make it cost-effective for the telecom sector to fulfil its energy needs while also contributing to the green energy aspirations and renewable energy use targets of the nation, stated COAI.
Appreciating the directions, S.P. Kochhar, Director General, COAI, stated, “We laud the Ministry of Power for introducing this much required progressive measure and also thank the Secretary, Ministry of Power; TRAI Chairman and DoT for the continuous support on this important aspect of power supply requirements for telecom infrastructure. This positive step acknowledges the importance of telecom as an essential infrastructure industry and its manifold benefits for the nation and our citizens. The telecom industry remains committed to fostering sustainability and contributing to the country’s renewable energy goals”.
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