After waiting for electricity for several years, lives of the residents of Baripatha, a tribal village in Odisha, changed for the better on Oct. 2, 2015. October 2 marked a life-changing transition for the 350-odd dwellers of Baripatha, a tribal village 25km southwest of Bhubaneswar. It made history by becoming the first village in the state to be entirely solar powered. The Baripatha model is low-cost, low-maintenance and community-owned and hence different from other solar projects across India. “This model can be replicated all over Odisha,” says senior IPS officer Joydeep Nayak, the brain behind this initiative.
The Rs 7 lakh project, cofunded by ECCO Electronics (a solar products manufacturer) and Jakson Group (a diversified power solutions provider), has put individual solar units with two lamps in each of the village’s 61 houses, along with a central one kilowatt unit that powers eight street lamps, and an TV along with set-top box for the community centre.
“Till now, in all rural solar projects, central units would supply power to households. Often, the exposed cables would be tapped, and others would draw more than their shares. This would cause the central unit to overload and trip,” says Jakson’s executive vice president Sandip Ghosh. By providing individual units to each household, these problems have been resolved.
- The history of solar power can be traced back to the 7th Century B.C. During this time,magnifying glasses used the sun’s rays to make fire.
- The Greeks and Romans were the first to use passive solar designs. Buildings with south facing windows allowed the sun to heat and light indoor spaces.
- In 1921, Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his theories on the photoelectric effect.
- Solar panels first appeared on the market in 1956.
- Space programs started using photo voltaic powered systems in 1958. They are still used today.
- California currently has the largest solar power plant in the world. Covering 1000 acres are nine solar thermal plants in the Mojave Desert.
- Photo voltaic Panels (solar panels) are mainly composed of silicon.
Who is the present Chief minister and Governor of Odisha?