Solar Power Microgrid ‘Powering’ Dharnai Village
Most villages in India lacks essential energy needs required for day to day work. Many of these villages are forced to live in the dark. Due to the absence of electricity, these people lag behind in the field of economic development and education.
Renewable energy reaches even to those remote areas where governments can’t reach. One such village is Dharnai, which received electricity for the very first time in the year 2014. Solar energy helped in creating light in their dark nights and dark future.
Dharnai is a small village located near Bodh Gaya region in Bihar’s Jehanabad district. Approximately 2400 people live in the village which did not have access to the electricity. Then in the year 2014, Solar Power Microgrid provided much-needed light.
Solar Power Microgrid
While rest of India was growing leaps and bounds, Dharnai village people were fighting a losing battle of getting electricity from last 30 years. They were forced to use kerosene oil and diesel generators as expensive means to get electricity.
But since the unveiling of the solar power microgrid in the Dharnai village, it has become an example of innovation in the field of solar power in India. Major highlights of the Solar Energy system:
- Dharnai village’s Solar Power Microgrid has a capacity of 100KW and provides 24-hour water and electricity to almost 2400 people.
- Out of the total 100KW of power, 70KW is utilized to provide electricity to 450 households and 50 commercial establishments and rest 30KW is used to power ten solar powered water pumping systems.
- A total of Rs. Three crores were spent to install the system which took less than three months.
- Dharnai villages have now 60 street lights, a healthcare center, a couple of schools and a Kisan Training Center which receive required energy from the micro-grid.
Effect of Solar Energy on village people
For almost 30 years village people were left with no option other than to wait for electricity. High tension wires passing by the village never lighted a single lamp or a bulb in the village. Streets were not accessible in the night; children were deprived of education due to dark.
A well-documented fact is that the women are primarily affected due to lack of electricity. They have no choice other than to cover long distances in search of firewood and water and don’t have any facilities for health care and sanitation at their disposal. They are forced to go outside to use toilets and many times have to face harassment, nasty comments and sometimes even worse.
Immediately after the installation of solar micro grid, drastic changes in the lives of the people of the village appeared. Key benefits being:
- Significant changes emerged in the lives of women and the girl child. Socio-economic condition of the women of the village improved after the solar-power microgrid installation.
- Due to the solar powered street lights travelling in night become safer and convenient.
- Women get ample time to finish their household work and cooking and need not to rush to finish it before sunset as it used to be.
- Children can prepare for their exams even after sunset and can utilize their evening in playgrounds.
- Lighting up the Dharnai created social and economic opportunities for the village people. Shops work more efficiently, and old people have light to sit and talk with their old friends.
Lately Chief Minister of Bihar, Shri Nitish Kumar also visited the village and praised the model of Dharnai village. Later the project was validated by Bihar government as well.
May 10, 2017