India’s Largest Stand-Alone Solar Power Plant at Mousuni Island in West Bengal has done more than illuminate the lives of islanders, it’s allowed the people living there to join the neighboring islands in the benefits of clean electricity. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) was commissioned to build the 105 kW photovoltaic (PV) array in association with West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA).West Bengal, India – July 2, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] BHEL plays a major role in island electrification programs in the country, and has set up stand-alone and grid-interactive solar plants in the islands of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar. Power generated by the PV systems contributes nearly 1,500 kW to the power generating capacity of these islands. These systems help to provide an un-interrupted power supply to the islanders, offset the use of diesel fuel, and conserve the ecology and environment on the islands. BHEL is also executing major contracts for commissioning of solar power systems in Punjab, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. As a result of the PV system installed on Mousuni Island, people are able to continue with their activities, like community meets and cultural programs, beyond sunset. The commissioning of the system will go a long way in improving the living standards of the islanders by providing clean and silent electricity. Besides providing power to the individual houses, school buildings and streetlights, the plant also powers a deep tube well for providing clean drinking water to the islanders. BHEL will own and operate the system for the next five years. West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA) was set up under administrative jurisdiction and control of Department of Science and Technology and Non-Conventional Energy sources of the Government of West Bengal in the year 1993. The agency implements one of the largest programs on renewable energy in India, including technologies such as solar, thermal, PV, wind turbines, improved Chulhas, biogas plants, biomass gasifier, small hydro and tidal power in West Bengal.