Cygni Energy Pvt Ltd: Rural Electrification using Solar DC Technology
Maanaveeya Development and Finance Private Limited, a subsidiary of Oiko Credit, supported Cygni Energy with a USD 300,000 working capital loan to enable Cygni to implement its rural electrification project in the state of Assam and other similar access to energy projects. ADB's Energy for All Program extended an interest subsidy that allowed Maanaveeya to lower the interest rate to be passed on to Cygni.
Cygni Energy designs, manufactures, and sells solar DC power solutions. It also designs, procures, and installs solar power plants. Cygni is incubated at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras Incubation Cell and is one of the portfolio companies of Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) of IIT Madras. In collaboration with IIT Madras, Cygni came up with a disruptive solution that promises to brighten the lives of the 300 million Indians who have no access to assured electricity supply. Cygni has already provided power to 4200 households, 3 schools, 1 community hall, and 1 temple in 55 villages across the states of Rajasthan, Andra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Telengana, and Odisha.
Cygni will utilize the loan to provide life-changing electricity services to 7,200 households spread to 75 off-grid villages in North Lakhmipur area, Assam. The project will offer each household: 200Wp solar panel, an inverter-less controller, a battery, 5 DC lamps, 1 DC fan, and 1 mobile charger. Once all households are equipped with the system, the total installed capacity will reach 1.44MWp.
What problem are you trying to solve? Who has this problem?
It is estimated that over 300 million people or 80 million households in India have no access to electricity, majority of them (74 million) in rural areas. These households are dependent on kerosene for lighting and other sources such as diesel generator sets for electricity for productive uses. Of those who do have connection, almost all find electricity supply intermittent and unreliable.
The usual approach to serving communities with no access to electricity is to extend the central grid. However, this approach is technically and financially inefficient. Capital is scarce to be able to set up generation plants and extend the transmission lines. In most rural areas, the demand is too thin to justify the cost of grid extension. In addition, there are logistic challenges to reach remote villages.
In Assam, 28% of rural households compared to 84% of urban households are using electricity as source of light. Over 2000 villages in Assam, out of the 25,300 inhabited villages, remain to be unelectrified. These are the primary target beneficiaries of Cygni for their inverter-less solar solutions.
The Project involves deployment of 48V Solar - DC Inverterless Controllers for 7,200 off-grid homes in Lakhimpur district in the state of Assam. Cygni will supply all the parts, install the systems, and maintain them for 12 months. Individual rural households will be selected by APDCL. They will not be charged with any upfront cost but with monthly fees. Each system will consist of a 200Wp solar panel, inverterless controller and battery, 5 DC bulbs, 1 DC fan, and a mobile charger. The systems can be remotely monitored with a web-based mobile app. Users will be provided with training on the operation of the devices. Cygni targets to install 1,200 systems per month and complete the Assam project within 6 months.
Improved living conditions and opportunities for more than 21,600 women
Improved health conditions with the displacement of kerosene lamps; improved health services by local health providers
Children will be able to study for longer others and with better light quality
Improved public services and public safety
Improved individual productivity, creation of opportunities for livelihood and other recreational activities
Uday Kiran Motukuri, Deputy General Manager - Business Development
Sudhir Kant Gir, Key Accounts Manager
Sasidhar Rayasam, General Manager - R&D
V Ramakrishna, General Manager - HR and Administration
Murali Vellampalli, General Manager - Operations
SR Viswanathan, Head - Finance and Projects
Rahul Saraogi, Nominee Director from IIT Madras
Srividhya Venkataraman, Promoter Director
Venkat Rajaraman, CEO
Oiko Credit - Maanaveeya Development and Finance Private
Sasken Communication Technologies, Hyderabad