Mon Dist Admn signs MoU with MRDF to set up solar mini-grids
Dimapur, January 25: In a landmark development, to deliver last mile access to electricity in rural areas of the Northeastern state of Nagaland, the Mon District Administration, and Mithun Rural Development Foundation (MRDF) have undertaken the initiative to set up solar mini-grids in the economically constrained villages of Nagaland.
MRDF is an SPV that is specifically designed to service the electricity access needs of the north-eastern states and is supported by organisations such as Smart Power India (SPI), ONGC and NABARD. The goal of the initiative is to enable last mile clean energy access, improve livelihoods, support women entrepreneurs and increase the GDP of the state, while reducing GHG emissions.
SPI will play an important role in supporting the entire programme framework and value chain including design, delivery and facilitating financial and market linkages. The programme envisages to improve access, covering 1000 villages in the next 7 years. The first three mini-grids will be set up as early as February 2022 in the villages of Longkei, Totok Chingha and Chenwetnyu in Mon District.
The Memorandum signed aims to align with the UN SDGs and reduce the carbon footprint along with generating green jobs. The initiative aims to encourage the use of a clean energy platform to increase household incomes by 15-20% and for enterprises by 20% in the targeted villages.
According to the MoU, for the first time, the setup of the mini-grids will aim to develop the community through an Integrated Village Development Programme involving all members of the community and not just the customers
The local administration is facilitating coordination between the Village Councils / Village Development Boards and MRDF
The District Administration is also assisting MRDF by coordinating the efforts of various departments such as health, education, renewable energy, rural development with the work in the villages
Talking about the memorandum, Jaideep Mukherji, CEO, Smart Power India/Samit Mitra, Senior Director, Smart Power India said, “We are glad to be a part of this Memorandum which aims at sustainable socio-economic development through DRE. It is also equally important to reduce carbon footprint, which would require a collective effort from every level of the society. We look forward to working with MRDF and the Government of Nagaland to establish a solar PV based mini-grid to encourage clean energy generation.”
Thavaseelan K, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Mon, Nagaland said,”We fully support MRDF and SPI in their efforts to improve the living conditions of our people in the villages. These clusters are economically backward and DRE mini-grid interventions will bring an all-round development to the region as they will integrate clean, high-quality and reliable energy with livelihoods, agriculture, health, education and public infrastructure. They will also help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25-40 tons per village per annum, which is an encouraging milestone to achieve.”
Samit Mitra, Director – Program Implementation at Smart Power India said, “The MRDF program undertakes an Integrated Village Development approach. The attempt is to address issues like energy – access & transition, education, health, community facilities and livelihood. It is a right balance between improvement of well-being and economic growth of the community.
Adding to Mitra, Vijay Bhaskar, Managing Director, MRDF said,”Our association with these esteemed stakeholders is aimed at arriving at a sustainable and holistic model of rural economic development based on DRE mini-grids, which can be implemented and scaled to about 1000 villages of Nagaland. We hope that communities can achieve holistic wellbeing as a result of the initiative.”
(Page News Service)