In 2016, we at the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) were studying the electrification status of various villages in Karnataka. The exercise gave us interesting insights into the scope of employing technologies like solar photovoltaic (PV) mini-grids to electrify such areas, where grid extension is not feasible. This motivated us to further investigate the last-mile electricity solutions. For getting deeper into the energy access issue, we decided to implement a mini-grid pilot project and better understand the ground realities.
We looked at several working models (such as biogas plants, solar plants, and solar pumps harvesting river water) and potential sites in Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Manipur, Bihar, and Odisha. Finally, we chose Kudagaon, an un-electrified remote island on the Mahanadi River, in the Angul district of Odisha.
This is the second article in our three-article ‘Powering Ahead’ series on what mini-grids are and why they can be key for achieving remote energy access in India.
Link to the article: https://cstep.medium.com/empowering-kudagaon-with-a-mini-grid-77f41e5c5f12