Starting an electrification program named “Eradication of Darkness” can be called a number of things, from pretentious to daring, but it’s exactly what SunEdison – a global leader in solar power – has decided to do for the Indian communities. Since almost half of the world’s people who rely on sunlight as their unique source live in India, the company considered it the best place to install and manage distributed-generation solar power plants.
As you can imagine, conditions for people without electricity are hard to bare: try walking 3 kilometers every day to bring back drinking water that you have to consume carefully or eating dinner at a kerosene lamp. And it’s not all: lack of electricity leads in time to more pungent problems like the lack of education, poverty, sickness and famine.
SunEdison has earned its status of solar power leader after installing 50 MW of interconnected solar electricity just in India. Also, the Gujarat region seems to be a favorite site for its projects: South Asia’s largest solar field or a 1 MW project suspended over the Narmada Canal.
However, the SunEdison officials are being very courteous about it: they consider helping these people an “honor” and are really serious about doing everything in their power for the success of the project. Also, somewhat unusual, is that they have really listened to what locals had to say in choosing the best location for the site by talking to them for weeks.
This came as a sequel for the 2011 Meerwada project carried with MEMC, through which a 14-kilowatt solar energy plant started providing energy to 400 villages. The next stage involves 29 villages in the Guna District, for the electrification of which SunEdison is looking to find money and partners: government grants and private funds from other investors and corporations. If this succeeds, then more communities can start expecting electricity in their homes. It’s the little things, aren’t they?…