Manipur get its first 100% solar-powered village

The standalone systems that the social enterprise installed each feature a 40 W solar panel and a 20Ah battery for storage, reports Northeast Today.

Mangaal Rural independently financed the INR 500,000 ($7,800) project in the village of Atom Khuman, about 15 km west of Imphal, the state capital. It will collect INR 18 ($0.28) per day from each household for 15 months, to ease the financial burden on the villagers.

“We are a small enterprise and to create a model village (entirely run by solar) was the biggest challenge,” said Surjit Ningthoujam, the founder of Mangaal Rural.

It first announced the project in February 2016. It monitored the systems for a period of time before revealing the completion of construction. The systems were installed under the “100 Solar Villages in Manipur” plan for 2016-17.

Manipur is an energy-deprived state. It also suffers from frequent load shedding, but off-grid DC solar systems can help to resolve such issues. Mangaal Rural hopes that the new PV systems in Atom Khuman will attract investors to finance similar projects in other rural parts of northeastern India.

“We decided to go ahead as we need to prove that load-shedding is not a chronic disease like cancer and can be easily overcome with the use of solar energy,” said Ningthoujam.