IEEE Smart Village Expands Partnership to Support Delivery of Electricity to Remote, High-Altitude Himalayan Villages

IEEE smart village
A villager experiencing light for the first time through the support of IEEE Smart Village and the Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE). (Photo: Business Wire)

IEEE Smart Village, a global humanitarian program helping remote, energy-deprived communities build toward sustainability with renewable energy and technology, announced today the expansion of their partnership with Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE). With this expansion, IEEE Smart Village is supporting GHE in providing clean energy access through solar power to improve the living standards of rural villages in the remote Himalayan frontiers of India.

IEEE Smart Village’s investment in GHE will specifically go toward funding access to basic electricity, through installation of energy efficient high lumen LED lights for residential lighting, solar LED street lighting for the outdoor community space, mobile charging points and customized DC HD LED TV for these villages which are typically located above 13000 ft. in the Indian Himalayas bordering countries such as Pakistan and China.

In partnership with IEEE Smart Village, GHE’s objective is to implement the renewable energy and technology solutions in a sustainable, scalable and environmentally beneficial way—leading to an overall development of the remote villages in the Ladakh and Zanskar regions of India. In August 2015, an international cast of volunteers, including IEEE members, helped set-up DC Solar microgrids, ranging in capacity from 100 watts (W) to 300 watts (W), to the remote ancient village of Shingo, nestled in Hemis National Park, in the Rumbak Valley of Ladakh, under the banner of GHE.

To date, GHE has electrified eight Himalayan villages and has impacted over 1800 lives directly. GHE has been instrumental in promoting these electrified villages in the form of Home-Stays (Hostels) for trekkers, who usually are seeking food and shelter while hiking through these remote Himalayan valleys. This has helped increase the income generation of these remote communities and has provided them with a livelihood opportunity towards a better future.

“It is our privilege to come alongside Paras Loomba, Founder of GHE, and his team to advance our mutual goal of bringing light to those who are living without access to electricity,” said Ray Larsen, co-founder of IEEE Smart Village. “The expansion of our program with GHE will build upon our success of delivering reliable electricity as a keystone to overcoming poverty, dramatically enhancing quality of life and encouraging sustainable community prosperity in the world’s off-grid regions.”

GHE plans to electrify 30 remote off-grid Himalayan villages in 2016, advancing the creation of a sustainable rural development for these mountainous communities.

IEEE Smart Village is a donor supported signature program of the IEEE Foundation with a vision to bring basic electrical and educational services to more than 50 million people by 2025. The program is currently serving more than 50,000 people through local partners in Haiti, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Sudan, Kenya, Namibia, Zambia and India.

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