Solar Microgrid in Dhapsung, Nepal


Dhapsung is a small village in the mountainous terrain of Sindhupalchok, one of the least developed districts of Nepal. The remote village is several hours walking from the nearest road. The community was heavily affected by the 2015 earthquakes and is still on the road to recovery. The residents of Dhapsung are Tamang, an ethnic group indigenous to the Himalayan regions of Nepal and India. Most are subsistence farmers who grow crops on the terraced hillsides. Many families in Dhapchung have relied on expensive, unreliable, and toxic non-renewable energy sources for their lighting and cooking. 

People in a circle with GRID team


In September 2016, volunteers and staff from GRID Alternatives and partner organizations Gham Power and Digo Bikas Institute arrived in the remote village of Dhapsung after a long, bumpy bus ride and a trek up the hillside, a trip that took 15 hours total! We received a warm welcome from Dhapsung community members upon our arrival, and spent the next four days immersed in the village, getting to know and working alongside its 200 residents. 

Community Group Dhapchung, Sindhupalchock, Nepal Install, Oct 2016

Together, we completed the installation of a 16kW solar microgrid, wired the battery bank and the inverters and charge controllers, installed pre-pay meters on the power poles and connected them to breakers in each house. When it was finished, we flipped the switch and celebrated as the system came on in Dhapsung.  

While in the village, we enjoyed playing with the kids, who brought us flowers and led us around the foot paths; eating local cucumbers and drinking buffalo milk inside family homes; attending a Women’s Group meeting; and seeing the stunning view from the mountaintop each morning. The generosity and kindness of the people in Dhapsung warmed our hearts.

Electricity will provide a safer, more affordable lighting option for homes; give students and teachers access to the internet and other electronic resources to accelerate their learning; charge cell phones and other devices cheaply and locally; and provide local businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools they need to be successful. 

Three Nepali women by solar system

Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and partners and your generosity, the community now has an unprecedented level of connectivity and opportunity. We look forward to seeing how clean, reliable electricity serves residents in the coming years.  This project was made possible by donations to GRID Alternatives from individuals and foundations.

We are extremely grateful to Gham PowerDigo Bikas InstituteEmpower GenerationBeyul Treks & Travel, and Nepal WirelessGRID Alternatives volunteers, the Dhapsung community, and all of our supporters for making this project a success. Thank you!

You can see photos from the project here. See our upcoming international volunteer opportunities to travel with purpose and join GRID in bringing solar to rural communities like Dhapsung! 

Please Donate today to support our international rural electrification work!