This project explores a general case methodology for designing mini-grids through a pilot project implementation, to provide a sustainable, economically viable and reliable supply of power to remote areas that face zero-to-poor energy access.
Pre-implementation: Study on electrification profiles of select villages in Karnataka, studying the energy-consumption profile, solar PV generation potential, storage-capacity requirements, for system modelling and generating theoretical case scenarios of mini-grid operations.
Ground exploration: Exploration of suitable pilot site through extensive mini-grid site screening, discussion with stakeholders, field practitioners and project developers in several states, namely, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Orissa. Finalisation on choice of technology, operation model and key site selection criteria.
Pilot project implementation: Complete implementation lifecycle from pre-feasibility scoping - socio-economic and technical requirements, towards finalising system design, followed with engineering execution of a smart mini-grid power plant in an un-electrified remote island-village, Kudagaon.
Impact creation: Attempted impact activity to boost local economy and improve entrepreneurial aspiration through exploring various commercial loads for improving village economy, conducted a boring sounding test to explore irrigation system potential.
Improved life and livelihood assessment: Post implementation assessment—including post-electrification and Quality-of-Life survey—observed an overall improvement in living conditions and aspirations for power usage in the village.
Tool upgrade activity: Improvements upon version 1 of CSTEM Tool to build a robust model, which is based on publicly available information, government-approved norms and encompassing a pan-India scope.
Below is the link to a short video showcasing CSTEP's journey in this project and how it has impacted the villagers of Kudgaon: