Community-Level Power Products

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Desi Power

Some energy enterprises are focused on large-scale power generation for entire communities, creating ‘mini-grids’ which connect to all the houses in a village (or several villages). ¬†These are often hydropower plants or biomass gasifiers which burn/gasify biomass to generate kilowatts of electricity. ¬†They provide the closest model to a traditional grid utility


NameTechnologyModelWattageCost of Plant ($USD)Cost/kW installed

AVANI (India)

Pine Needle Biomass Gasifier powering homes and supplementing gridProvides 3 daily hours of light in village, excess is sold to grid to cover costs.120kW$170,000~$1400

Practical Action Peru (Peru)
Hydro powering community-level mini-gridsDonor subsidized cost includes training of village in maintenance, villagers pay ongoing fees85 kW-500 Families/plantN/A$2,000-$6,500/plant

DESI Power (India)

Biomass Power Plant generating lighting and home power, powering mobile phone towers, agricultural equipment and small businessesCost includes development of small businesses to create value from power and increase utilization of plant100kW$200,000 ($80,000 for capacity building and enterprise development)$2,000

blueEnergy (Nicaragua)

Solar panels charging central battery bank for lanterns and home systems and lighting schoolsCosts include community development and training, donor subsidized with nominal villager payments1kW$10-15,000$10-15,000

Husk Power Systems (India)

Biomass Rice Husks powering mini-grid systemsFocus is on low cost/kWh, plant run by village-based Husk employees35-100kW, ~450 families/plantN/A<$1,000