Energy independence: An Indian village lights the way

Dharnai, India now derives all of its energy from its own solar power grid.

On July 20, Dharnai, a northeastern Indian village, achieved an ambitious and inspirational goal: to become energy independent through the use of a local solar power micro-grid.

Dharnai is located in one of India’s most impoverished states, and 2,400 people call it home. Solar power will light their homes as well as running street lights (which will improve safety and mobility) and water pumps (which is vital for residents’ health and well-being and saves women arduous and often dangerous treks to find clean water).  In addition to the village’s households,  50 businesses, two schools, a health care facility, a training center will benefit from the micro-grid.

Greenpeace worked with local NGOs BASIX and CEED as well as community members to get the project up and running.


Here’s what some community members have to say about the project:

Finally we have managed to get rid of the darkness of the evening. Now street lights and light from the houses with electric connection, have not only lit up the homes and the neighbourhood but the whole village, creating an environment of safety. –Gunjan Devi

The best part is there are no power-cuts in Dharnai. Even in Patna, you are never sure if the lights will be on when you are studying or cooking at night. But our electric supply system is dependable, reliable and it is managed by us. — Santan Kumar

It was hard to believe that we would have electricity, but now that we do, it is also our responsibility to ensure that the lights don’t go out. –Kamal Kishore Prasad

We at Community Renewable Energy believe that everyone can benefit from solar power, and we support energy autonomy through locally produced, community-owned solar power, rural electrification, and the installation of micro-grids.

Contact us to learn more.

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