Over the last two years, most un-electrified villages in Kargil district, especially in Zanskar Sub Division, have been electrified through the use of Solar Nano-Grid Technology.
The remote village of Shadey (Sha-ady) is located in Lungnak block of Zanskar. It is the latest addition to the list of such villages after it was electrified on July 17, 2017 by a team of volunteers from Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) who represented 13 different countries.
The team trekked for more than 90 kms over four days to reach the village.
Shadey village is one of the most remote villages in Zanskar and perhaps even the most remote village in Ladakh.
The village is not connected by road and the nearest motor-able road-head is at Anmu village, which is a three-day trek away from Shadey. The village has 13 households and a population of around 90 to 100 people.
The village has never received any grid based electricity till date. The villagers have been using Solar Home Lighting Systems and old kerosene oil lamps. In winters, the village remains cut-off from the outside world for about six to seven months. There is one satellite phone in the village, which was installed in 2013 and remains the only medium of communication between the village and the outside world. In the case of emergencies, the village can only be accessed by helicopter.
Even the Solar Home lighting systems and Solar Lanterns being used in the village have been provided by government agencies some years back. However, these have not been adequate to meet the lighting needs of a household. The installation of a DC Solar Nanogrid in the village by a team from Global Himalayan Expedition is a boon for the villagers who can now enjoy 12 hours of indoor and outdoor lighting. A total of 110 of custom-designed DC LED lights were installed in the village and each household received an average of six LED lights. The village itself has been lit by five power-efficient LED streetlights. The villagers will not have to stumble around in the darkness and children can play outside till late in the evening. Some of the households now plan to purchase DC LED HDTV, which will allow them to gain better awareness and remain updated on world affairs through satellite dish. A DC LED HDTV has also installed for the community by the GHE team.
The DC Solar Nanogrid technology is not only an affordable technology but also risk-free as it runs on 24V DC power. This can be setup easily and run appliances such as LED lights, LED streetlights, USB mobile chargers and LED HDTVs. It provides a sustainable solution for remote villages such as Shadey and a viable alternative to grid-based electricity. The success of the project was appreciated by Kacho Ahmad Khan, Director of Kargil Renewable Energy Development Agency and Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Kargil. The Executive Councilor from Zanskar, Tenzin Sonam provided logistical support to make this project a success. This now serves as model for public and private partnership in Kargil to bring development to remote villages.
It is pertinent to mention here that GHE in collaboration with KREDA has electrified Lankerchey Brok, Itchu, Phuktal Gonpa, Bodh Kharboo Foo and Stakchey Brok villages using the same technology.