YOUR ECO supply Himalayan school with solar PV & battery storage; work to recommission hydro-electric turbine
Your ECO supply Himalayan school with solar PV & battery storage; work to recommission hydro-electric turbine
On April 25, 2015, Nepal was struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed by another 7.3 magnitude earthquake just 2 weeks later. More than 8,500 people were killed and 850,000 homes were destroyed. In the following months a Southwest England based renewable energy group have realised the role clean energy can play in bridging the gap for some of the world’s most vulnerable and isolated indigenous people.
On the 20th of March a group from Your Eco headed off with Team Rubicon, an ex-military disaster relief charity, to undertake a much-needed service project for a remote village in the Himalayas. Your Eco currently allow their employees 10 days off per year paid to undergo charity work as part of their mantra of “People, Planet, Profit.”
Deploying on Operation Nirman (the Nepalese word for build) the group was led by ex-infantry officer Nick Spicer, who was 2nd in command for the Team Rubicon operation & COO of Your Eco. The project which focussed on a school build, connecting an off-grid solar system and laying the groundwork to recommission the hydro-electric power turbine. Nick led the 2.5 hour trek into the mountains with all the solar gear including the battery storage unit which was hauled up the mountain on bamboo canes by a ten man team and modules via a collection of mule trains and individuals. The group was pulled together with the generosity of Your Power’s suppliers; Trina Solar provided the solar modules, ZED Energy and Fitcraft the battery storage unit and Sunfixings the mountings for the off-grid system. For hydro, the 30 kW Nauli Hydro Plant in Lapubesi started with the rebuilding of the destroyed plant house and clearing of the landslide debris from the hydro intake channel.
Nick Spicer of Your Eco has been speaking today: “It is vital we are demonstrating what can happen when NGO’s and the commercial world work to bring a real tangible difference to those who need it most. By allowing access to clean solar and hydro energy and providing energy storage it can alleviate some of the problems associated with less sustainable energy options. I couldn’t be more proud to have led such an important mission to help those affected by some of the worst natural disasters.”
The Himalayan nation, stuck between China and India, has little known oil, natural gas, or coal reserves. The recent oil shortage being caused by a blockade has shown the area where renewables can comfortably occupy the market. Most of Nepal’s 31 million people lack access to the electric grid, which can be very expensive to expand in remote and hilly regions. Even those with access often face rolling blackouts that can last more than 12 hours a day. The connection to an off-grid solar PV system with energy storage created the electrical infrastructure to enable the school to have access to technology, and the ability for traveling medics to bring much needed medical supplies to the remote area. Through a 9 kWhr storage capacity and excellent irradiance levels the solar PV system will provide more than sufficient capacity to meet the school’s energy demands whilst providing a surplus for the local community.
“With the recent Paris Climate agreement the deployment of clean energy sources continues to build the profile of how these technologies can be flexible in some of the most difficult climates. Rural electrification can make such a tangible difference to some of the most vulnerable world populations.” More info at www.yourgroupuk.com
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