Smart Microgrids for Renewable Energy Access in Remote Areas

In off-grid communities and villages with less than six hours of intermittent daily power supply, Gram Power sets up electricity generation stations with renewable sources of energy, such as solar power, and installs distribution lines from the generation station to every home and local telecom tower. The microgrid comes with a proprietary smart prepaid meter for every household. This solution offers reliable power to the microgrid with the smart meter detecting energy theft, while monitoring power consumption of consumers and allowing for wireless payments.

Once a microgrid has been installed, a local entrepreneur is recruited and trained to operate the generation station and to sell the electricity. Gram Power sells energy credits at a wholesale price to the entrepreneur, who in turn earns a commission by selling these credits to consumers. So far the company has installed smart grids in 30 remote areas in rural India, and are now using their technology to help manage the national grid too. In Africa, they hope to bring energy to over one million families.

Why you should care

The International Energy Agency estimates that more than 1.2 billion people do not have access to electricity. The smart microgrid system developed by Gram Power has been a role model in its field to provide flexible, modular and reliable power from renewable sources of energy to people in energy-poor communities.

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