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“Mini Power Plants” deliver power on a ” Pay for use” model at Rs2/day in villages in Bihar

Today’s The  Economic Times talks about a Patna-based NGO, Husk Power Systems (HPS), uses the husk-based gasifier technology to provide electricity using 32 kWe (40 kVA) plants that deliver power on a “pay-for-use’’ basis to households in the rice-producing belt of India at about Rs 2 per day per household, located within a radius of 1.5 km. The charges are such it results in a reduction in the consumption of kerosene by as much as two-thirds. Power is supplied from 5 pm till midnight each day. During the daytime, it provides power to 6-7 pumps for irrigating fields. This plant lighting up some 500-700 households spread over 20 villages in the district, and changing the profile of the cluster altogether.

The enterprise, which has the backing of the Union new and renewable energy ministry (it has provided 20% of the total investment), has been so successful that the Paryavaran Bhawan, which houses the ministry, has been deluged with requests for similar ventures from rice-growing, but power-deficit states of Bihar, eastern UP, West Bengal and Orissa. Rice husk is found in abundance in these regions all through the year, providing fodder to the bio-mass gasification projects.

HPS has also entered into a partnership with a Buxar-based firm to produce a highly-cost effective “down-draft gasifiers’’ in which the rice husk undergoes “biomass gasification’’ (controlled incomplete combustion) to produce a combustible mixture of gases (mainly producer gas) that are capable of powering off-the-shelf CNG engines that drive an alternator to produce power.

Read the entire article here

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