Last year, US space agency NASA selected Gram Power’s technology among the top-10 cleantech innovations from around the world. Two fresh graduates from the University of California Yashraj Khaitan and Jacob Dickinson founded GRAM POWER which enables villagers to generate and store renewable energy from biomass, solar or wind on-site. While on a university project they came to know about the scarcity of electricity in villages, this goaded them to devise energy solutions for villagers.
This year, Gram Power set up India’s first ‘Smart Micro grid’ in a village close to Todaraisingh Mandal in Tonk district of Rajasthan, which had no electricity connections from state electricity grid. This powered around 200 people allowing them to operate common appliances at home. In national grid theft, transmission and heat losses eats up a major part of power but Gram Power’s technology detects and eliminates energy theft and pilferage to increase energy distribution efficiency in addition to this it uses DC to supply the power.
The grid is maintained by the money collected from the consumers. In villages kerosene play an important role in households. The Gram Power model helps rural consumers bypass conventional grid supplies and also costs less than the monthly spend on kerosene. Consumers pay Rs 75 per month under the pay-as-you-go model for standard grid connection instead of spending Rs 200 on kerosene and cell phone charging. GRAM POWER providing electricity by prepaid energy selling device. Gram Power, which has already powered 10 villages in Rajasthan, is now looking to form strong partnerships to increase access to their technology through state and central renewable energy ministries.
The start up has a target to deploy 20 self owned smart micro grids with 250 kilowattpeak of generation, catering to almost 40,000 people over the next 12 months. As per GRAM POWER initial market size is nearly $7.7 Billion targeting people more than 300 million. A Swiss company has made investment of around $1 million (Rs 5 crore) in Gram Power this year. So far GRAM POWER is able to fetch partnerships from Vikram Solar, Airtel (distribution partner), TERI University (Designing partner), Bhoruka Charitable Trust, Samudaya, Alibaba.com and many more. GRAM POWER was also awarded by Blum Center, Intel, UC Berkeley Bplan and LAUNCH challange energy.