Will benefit off-grid remote and rural areas

A solar-cum-wind energy system co-developed by the National Aerospace Laboratories promises to bring power to remote and rural areas that cannot be brought on to the electric grid. Northern Karnataka, villages in Malnad and the northeastern States would benefit from such self-supporting power source, NAL director Shyam Chetty said.

NAL tied up with Aparna Renewable Energy Sources, Bangalore, to manufacture and market the power systems, with both spending around Rs. 2 crore to develop the system over four years.

Five of such 500W+500W systems are being developed and an initial batch of 50 units would be produced through a private manufacturing partner, he said at an event to demonstrate the hybrid product here on Friday. Each community unit costs about Rs. 3 lakh.

Additional Chief Secretary P. Ravikumar said many off-grid villages in northern Karnataka and the Western Ghats, would benefit. There has been a ten-fold increase in the demand for such off-grid solutions, said S. Gomathinayagam, Executive Director of the Centre for Wind Energy Technology, a Chennai-based R&D unit of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

For NAL, “the development of hybrid systems is a future thrust area. Next, variants can be used for borewells, pumps and higher capacity grid-linked systems in rural and urban areas,” Mr. Chetty said.

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