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Renewable energy brightens the tribe living in Hunsur taluk

The National Institute of Engineering (NIE) has developed a plan that will ensure the installation of microgrids running on solar power and other renewable energy forms. This move will inform the constant supply of power and lighting to the tribes living in Hunsur taluk. The plan will be implementing the eco-friendly system and invigorating the area to unleash solar energy and other renewable energy forms to help the area residents.

A pilot test of the plan is already underway at Hemmige tribal haadi in Hunsur taluk by the Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST) at the NIE. The head of operations at NIE-CREST, S. Shamasundar, reiterated that the microgrid at Hemige is a pilot project that will help in optimizing the plan and making adjustments before commercial-scale implementation. The microgrid is a 1 kW potential running on solar power, biodiesel, and wind turbine. The developers stated that they made it a hybrid unit to analyze its performance.

Shamasundar explained that eight houses involved in the pilot project are already enjoying renewable energy. He added that they plan on implementing the results to power the remote and marginalized tribes which dwell in places with scarce to no power resources. The microgrid is the first for renewable energy to be planted by NIE-CREST in the area. The commercial-scale implementation of the project will pedal the country towards sustainable development associated with the distribution of renewable energy resources. Dr Shamasundar acknowledged the participation of the alumni of NIE, the electronics and communication department, the industrial production and civil engineering departments, and the fraternity from the mechanical engineering department.

There are an additional 30 tribes in this area, and NIE-CREST has developed a proposal that it will be delivering to the government for approval concerning the tribes. The proposal will roll out renewable energy microgrids to keep these tribes powered. The cost of establishing a microgrid to power one grouping is ₹5 lakh, with the grid meeting all the household needs for the people. S. Sreekanth of Development Through Education (DEED) stated that they have been partnering with NIE-CREST on the pilot project.

He added that concept is crucial as it ensures that the locals are connected to a power source and unlocks the area for economic development. About 4000 groups of people have been living without power in Hunsur. Therefore, the installation of renewable energy microgrids will keep the area connected to the power source. Additionally, the youth will get employed in the programs and receive the training they require for the new job market. Finally, the project streamlines the achievement of net-zero emissions in remote regions.

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