SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE:SUNE), today announced a new project that will install 159 kilowatts (kW) of solar PV micro-grids with battery storage in six remote Indian villages, which will bring electricity to, and thereby improve health and education for, 4,875 off-grid people. Working with the Government of India’s Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and the Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam state agency, SunEdison will build, operate and then transfer the facilities to a public entity after five years, giving the freedom of renewable, reliable energy to those who need it the most.
“Solar is often the most practical solution in India’s remote areas and building micro-grids allows for scalability as the need grows,” said Pashupathy Gopalan, president of SunEdison Asia Pacific, Middle East and South Africa. “The project isn’t just about economics, as part of our SunEdison Eradication of Darkness (SEED) initiative we take into account the long term social and environmental impact as well. We believe that a collaborative approach, where private enterprise works closely with the government sector, is a winning model for future solar development in the region.”
SunEdison will begin construction of the micro-grids in September 2014 after the seasonal monsoon rains subside and commission them by December 2014. The project will be completed under the REC’s decentralized distributed generation scheme, which enables remote communities to generate the clean, reliable energy essential for their development through small, off-grid systems located in the community, rather than depend on expensive and time-intensive public infrastructure expansion.