Solar-Gem, a Sydney-based company providing affordable solutions based on clean solar power systems, would now provide electricity to Elephanta Island near Mumbai.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) with support from Pune-based Science and Technology Park (STP) has collaborated with Solar-Gem to initially provide green-power in one village-Rajbander-on the island with its solar power systems.

“We have tied-up with the company which will install the system in the village. We have initiated the project on a pilot basis,” STP’s Director General and CEO, Dr Rajendra Jagdale, told PTI here.

Solar-Gem, which is equipped and positioned to design and deploy reliable and affordable solar-powered off-grid lighting systems, will install its system in the village.

Mr. Jagdale said that the company would provide four lamps and a 30-kilogramme battery in each household. “Nearly 40 watts LED energy would be provided to each household through the system which can last up to 4-5 days depending upon usage,” he said.

Elephanta Island, which is known for its ancient caves and not very far from the metropolis, remains deprived of power even today.

Ratnakar Gaikwad, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA said, “The project is expected to be completed very soon and once completed, the village will benefit in a big way and will witness a major transformation.”

The project will cost around Rs. 1 crore of which MMRDA will be funding 10 per cent, STP will fund 40 per cent and the remainder will be borne by the Australian Government, Mr. Jagdale said.

“The pilot project would run for six-months,” Mr. Jagdale said.

STP has also hired a Japanese designer, Omura, to study and design the unique poles that would be set up to provide power in the village.

Asked about future plans, Mr. Jagdale said, “once the project is successful, we plan to provide USB pre-paid cards to the residents with which they can buy power as per their needs.”

The residents will not have to pay more for their electricity.

“The regulated tariff will be applicable. The residents will not have to pay extra for the electricity,” he said.