Dharnai, a village in Bihar, has become India’s first village that’s powered entirely by solar electricity. A few months ago, Greenpeace and two other NGOs that work in the area (BASIX and CEED) started building a solar power micro-grid to serve the village. The 100 kilowatt solar power system officially went online few days back.
70 kW of the power is used for electricity generation and 30 kW for 10 solar-powered water-pumping systems with three horsepower each. It has a battery to store excess electricity, for use during the sunless hours.
Greenpeace says it required a heterogeneous village for this project where agriculture was the main occupation also with basic social infrastructure like school, healthcare facility, an anganwadi (communal childcare centre), a commercial zone and around 400 households. They claim that the Dharnai grid serves about 450 homes, housing 2,400 residents, as well as roughly 50 businesses, streetlights, water pumps, two schools, health care center, and other public and private ventures.