Demonstrating The Potential Of Integrating A Micro Hydro Solar Hybrid System With The National Grid

One of our SEPS projects in India aimed to integrate an existing micro-hydro power unit into the national grid to prevent it from becoming non-operational and to demonstrate the potential of a grid-connected micro-hydro solar hybrid system.
Access to reliable electricity makes a significant contribution to better living conditions, sustainable development and economic growth in rural areas. Lack of access has negative impacts on education, health, employment and irrigation – affecting many aspects of life and livelihood. Micro grids are often use to bring electrification to remote rural areas in developing countries; they usually use local renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, hydro or biomass. Micro grids often operate in isolation from the central grid or are off-grid, but the extension of central grids to rural areas provides opportunities to interconnect existing micro grids with national or regional electricity infrastructure.

In India, evidence shows that villagers often choose to adopt a connection to the grid. Interconnection of the micro-grids with the national grid can offer local people a more reliable electricity supply, can ensure the sustainability of micro-generation systems and may provide an opportunity for operators or the local community to increase revenue by selling surplus electricity to the utility company.

WISIONS’ project partners Ashden India Renewable Energy Collective (AIREC) have completed their activities, which started in October 2015. These included:

  • Successful awareness-raising activities within the communities
  • The technical assessment of an existing micro hydro plant
  • The design and supply of a 5 kW solar PV power plant
  • Various civil works (renovation of micro hydro plant, installation/connection of solar PV power plant)
  • The design and supply of an intelligent circuit controller system (managing the available electricity)
  • The connection to a 415 V Main Board to support grid connectivity

This is the first project of its kind in India (integrating a very small hydro project with a) solar technologies and b) the national grid). The successful demonstration of this system will facilitate the replication of such plants in other states in India.

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