Who, What & Where

  • Solar Village Initiative
  • 170 kW grid connected community solar
  • Irumbai Village, Tamil Nadu, Inida

The Company

Auroville Consulting (AVC) is a unit of the non-profit organisation, the Auroville Foundation. It has expertise in ecological and socially responsible development. We collaborate with academic, private and public sector partners both in India and internationally, helping to develop renewable energy, sustainable urban and industrial development policies, ecologically friendly technologies, and training programs on aspects of sustainable development. The Solar Village Initiative aims to provide clean, reliable and affordable electricity to 100 villages. It uses village-level solar energy generation as a lever for sustainable and inclusive village level development in a manner that improves the quality of life of rural communities.

The Challenge

Over 350 million Indian citizens do not have access to electricity. Within rural communities that have electricity, a large proportion are prone to an erratic power supply, long outages and fluctuations. Power outages are more frequent in rural areas than in urban areas.  This leads to increased use of traditional energy sources such as firewood and cow-dung cakes, which have health and environmental repercussions. Reliable electrical systems are closely related to economic growth. India’s Central Electricity Authority found that in order to achieve GDP growth of 9% per year, the power sector must also grow at 7.2% per year. The lack of reliable electricity has hampered the socio-economic development of large parts of rural India and is linked to inadequate healthcare, low literacy rates, and low levels of agricultural productivity. Industries located in villages are not able to function at optimum capacity. This leads to poor economic returns and residents of rural villages migrating to cities in search of work.

Renewable Solution

A grid interactive solar energy generator  of 170 kW capacity has been installed at the village level. The Solar Energy Generator is connected to the village level electrical infrastructure (LT level). Solar Energy produces is sold to the State Utility. The Electricity Act of India (2003) mandates that renewable energy systems are exempted from load shedding. Hence the electricity feeder supplying the village will provide a 24/7 electricity supply to the village.












Project Financing and Costs

Total Project Cost: INR 2,2 Crores (this includes energy efficiency interventions at household level and for street lights and public water supply)

Project Outcome

  • The village is energy positive. It produces, on an annual basis, more electricity than it consumes.
  • Improvement of local living standards and economy