These days, in a world where electronics and electricity makes up nearly every facet of daily life, it is hard for people to fathom the fact that there are still communities in the world where there is no electricity.
This is exactly the case in many villages throughout India, where a company named SunEdison is actively trying to use solar energy to provide electricity in places that never experienced the benefits of electrical power before.
On May 30, SunEdison announced that it was starting a progressive “rural electrification program” called Eradication of Darkness. The program is designed to build a distributed power system for remote Indian villages, using the latest generation of solar power technologies.
The program is set to transform the lives of thousands of villagers throughout India, bringing them the many life-changing benefits that electricity brings.
Eradication of Darkness
According to a company press release issued on May 30, the Eradication of Darkness program is only the formal label applied to an effort that has been ongoing for some time.
Some of SunEdison’s commercial projects have also made a significant impact on communities throughout India. For example, the company installed the largest solar field in South Asia in Gujaret, the same location where the company also installed a 1 Megawatt power production facility suspended over the Narmada Canal.
SunEdison also installed a 14 Kilowatt solar plant in Meerwada, India in 2011 – a power facility that now sends electricity to roughly 400 villagers throughout the region.
According to the press release, the villagers impacted by that electricity project previously had to walk three kilometers to obtain clean drinking water, and used kerosene lamps as their only source of light.
The project in Meerwada, India was the pilot project for the Eradication of Darkness program, where the company hopes to electrify remote communities in multiple phases.
Electrifying Remote Communities
The first phase of the Eradication of Darkness program involves bringing electrical power to 29 villages throughout the Guna District of India.
The project to bring electricity to these remote villages is going to be funded with government grants, in addition to private funds from corporations and investors.
According to the company, the program is an effort to test a “successful business model”, with the long-term hope of bringing electricity to other remote communities and villages around the world.
Ahmad Chatila, the President and CEO of MEMC, the parent company of SunEdison, explained just how significant the impact of electricity was on the lives on these villages.
“The day-to-day challenges faced by people who do not have electricity are beyond imagination to many of us. Being able to improve people’s lives is an honor, and we are committed to continuing this effort in collaboration with the people of India.”
People in developed nations across the world only feel a small taste of what it’s like to live without power during major climate catastrophes or winter storms, but few people ever experience what it is like to live a life without any electrical power for an extended period of time.
The result of the Eradication of Darkness program will be the transformation of hundreds to thousands of lives, in ways that only electrical power can transform a standard of life.
If the program is successful in the Guna District, the program could expand to change the lives of many thousands of remote villagers across the world.