Photograph courtesy BRE-C

Great Energy Challenge Innovator: Barpak Rural Electrification (BRE-C)

Project: Micro hydro rehab and resilience for rural households in post-earthquake Nepal

Location: Barpak, Gorkha District, Nepal

Summary: For two and a half decades, Barpak, Gorkha District in Nepal featured an impressive display of rural electrification. A 133-kilowatt micro hydropower system provided continuous and affordable electricity to households as well as for innovative enterprises that served Barpak and adjoining villages.

On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake severely damaged the rural electrification system. The Great Energy Challenge is supporting rehabilitation and upgrade of the micro hydropower system as well as restoration of innovative enterprises.

Barpak Rural Electrification (BRE-C) is a consortium of Barpak Rural Electrification Ltd., Hydro Energy Concern Ltd., and Gorkhaly Foundation. Barpak Rural Electrification Ltd. will supply the electricity. Hydro Energy Concern Ltd. will design and construct the micro hydropower system as well as arrange the necessary investments needed to restore and upgrade the civil structures as well as the seven innovative enterprises. Gorkhaly Foundation is a Virginia-based non-profit that will assist in preparing business plans and mobilizing debt from local financial institutions.

As a joint entity, BRE-C will form an independent, local committee to oversee performance of the micro hydropower system and innovative enterprises.

Goal: To restore and improve a model of electrification-led rural development

Project Participants: Bir Bahadur Ghale, founder of Barpak Rural Electrification Ltd. and Hydro Energy Concern Ltd.; Neeraj Gorkhaly, founder and chairman of the board at Gorkhaly Foundation; Gunjan Gautam, Gorkhaly Foundation board member

The Great Energy Challenge grant program, in collaboration with a distinguished group of scientists acting as the board of advisors, awards roughly a half-dozen grants per year. The goal of the grant program is to hasten the growth of promising, global energy solutions as a response to climate change, energy resource constraints and environmental limitations.


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