• Now Odisha has its first complete solar village
  • October 02, 2015
  • Thanks to governments initiatives, Odisha has got its first village powered by solar energy completely. Baripatha is a tribal village having population of 500 people in the 25 km southwest of Bhubaneswar.

    Baripatha solar project is based upon low-cost, low-maintenance model owned by community unlike many of others elsewhere in the country which were not succeeded.

    This model can be replicated all over Odisha to provide power to its nearly 3,900 villages.

    The Rs 7-lakh project, co-funded by ECCO Electronics (a solar products manufacturer) and Jakson Group (a diversified power solutions provider), has put individual solar units with two lamps in each of the village's 61 households, along with a central one-kilowatt unit that powers eight street lamps, and an LED television set and a TV set-top box for the community centre.

    In other rural solar projects, central units would supply power to households. Often, the exposed cables would be tapped by some, while others would draw more than their shares. This would cause the central unit to overload and trip, by providing individual units to each household, these problems have been resolved.

    "The entire village has been involved in the planning and execution. The only maintenance required is regular cleaning of the solar panels and, in case of the central unit, ensuring that the water levels in the batteries are at the optimum mark. It is actually zero-maintenance.

    Two multipurpose LED lamps were handed over to each household. They cost Rs 2,650 and Rs 1,750 each and villagers can get them on easy installments through micro-finance. Some other companies are willing to subsidize these lamps as part of their CSR.

    The central solar unit has eight big panels that can be folded in just two minutes to protect them from cyclones and high-speed winds that hit Odisha frequently. This central unit can also operate a one-horsepower irrigation pump.

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