According to reports, Maharashtra is one of the states where most of the villages have power supply. However, there are about 40 villages which have still not been electrified as they are very remote. Most of these villages are located in Gadchiroli and Nandurbar districts.
The central government had devised a project to electricity such villages all over the country under Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana ( RGGVY). These villages will be electrified using the distributed generation concept. Renewable energy will be used to provide power supply to these villages.
The state government has appointed Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) to implement this scheme. The agency specializes in developing renewable energy. MSEDCL does not have any expertise in distributed generation schemes and hence this project has been given to MEDA.
The entire cost of the project will be borne by the central government and the state government will not have to contribute anything. The most viable energy source is solar power in Gadchiroli as there is not much scope for wind power in the district. However, some villages located atop hills in Nandurbar can be powered by windmills too.
While the project takes care of installation of renewable energy sources the revenue model of the upkeep and maintenance is not sustainable. The residents of far-flung villages are very poor and are not used to paying electricity bills. MSEDCL is facing the same problem after electrifying small villages. The residents are not habituated to paying bills and the company is unable to generate revenue from them.