Let There Be Light: The two-kilometre drive on a kuchcha road lined with sugarcane crops to Hasnapur in Uttar Pradesh at night leaves you with an eerie feeling. The road is dark, but as the village approaches, you can spot tiny dots of light emanating from thatch-roofed huts. The government has not brought electricity to the village in Sitapur district — but there is light. Read the full story here.

The World Economic Forum has selected Mera Gao Power as a Technology Pioneer for its low cost, fully automated, scalable micro grid technology. The International Business Times then selected MGP as one of the 6th best winners. Read the WEF press release here.

The National Geographic Society honors MGP: The National Geographic Society opened their first ever TerraWatt Price competition last year to develop and support innovative solutions that address energy poverty. MGP is honored to have been selected as the first place winner of the TerraWatt Price. With the prize money, MGP will provide service to 3,500 households and 17,500 people in Sitapur District. See the press release here.

MGP has been shortlisted for the Ashden Awards! The Ashden Awards uncover and champion the most exciting low-carbon enterprises and programs in the UK and developing world. A total of 61 green energy organisations and programs from 17 countries have been shortlisted across 4 categories of awards, which are now in their 14th year. See the press release here.

Arc Finance put together a podcast on affordable energy for off-grid populations in which MGP participated.

MGP has been nominated for the Responding to Climate Change 2013 Awards. Read the full article here.

Solar energy startups out to power rural India with cost-effective and less toxic solutions: The Economic Times discusses a few off-grid energy companies (including MGP) and their solutions. Read the full article here.

As of September 2013, MGP serves over 13,000 customer households and 65,000 people across more than 500 villages of Sitapur District Uttar Pradesh.

Out of the Gloom: The Economist highlights MGP’s solution for serving energy to the off-grid poor. Read the full article here

The Better India Photo Essay: by Anna da Costa: As a social enterprise committed to providing some of the poorest households in India with solar power, Mera Gao Power is making great inroads… Read the full article here

We the Geeks: Brian and Nikhil discuss innovations for development with staff from the White House, USAID, and Omidyar Network.

“We are a Lighting Utility, and Our Competition is Kerosene”: Brian Shaad discusses MGP, serving the rural poor, and plans ahead. Read the full article here

As of April, 2013, MGP is serving over 6,000 customer households across over 250 villages. MGP also achieved a key milestone – as of April, MGP is profitable bringing in more revenue than it spends in operational costs!

Rural Marketing recently published an article on Mera Gao Power in the December 2012 issue. Read the full issue online here.

India Innovates
India’s Department of Science and Technology highlights MGP in its recent “India Innovates” report.

MGP crossed the 100 village mark and the 2,000 customer mark in October 2012. While funding remains a constraint to expansion, customer payments remain solid, new customers are connected each day, and operational processes are firming up. MGP is positioned for rapid growth in 2013!

Energy’s Presence, not Price, Changes Lives
Hundreds of millions of people across India lack access to electricity, despite enormous investments into expanding the power grid and increasing generation capacity, the challenge is so great that the investments have left most off-grid villages unchanged. Even grid connected villages lack reliable power, normally only getting power for 3 to 4 hours in the late night and early morning. Social enterprises have sprung up, developed innovative technical and business models, and taken great risks to help the government in its quest. But just as these companies need government’s support, the government is threatening tight regulation which would kill the industry. This article explains why the focus should be on the presence of power services and the price of power to customers should be left for when universal coverage has already been ensured.

MGP has expanded service to 48 villages and 1,200 customers as of July 31, 2012. Raj Kumal, MGP’s Reosa Construction Manager, and Sushil Gupta, MGP’s Reosa Hub Manager, worked tirelessly through the heat of June and the rains of July to double MGP’s customer base. By September, MGP aims to add 1,000 customers per month to its customer base. To do so, a new hub in Rampur Mathura Block of Sitapur District will be opened in September 2012.

How MGP’s solar microgrids are lighting up villages
While 300 million people in North India, many of which live in Uttar Pradesh, are facing power outages due to failing grid infrastructure, the people of Thigra are receiving quality, dependable power for lighting and mobile phone charging. Read the full article here.

MGP’s Micro Grid is one of the 10 Most Important Technology Milestones of the Last Year
MIT’s Technology Review Selects MGP as one of ten technologies with the greatest potential to shape innovation in the years to come. Others in this prestigious list include Facebook, Intel, and a group of MIT researchers. Read the full article here.

Solar-Powered Micro Grids Change Lives of Indian Villagers
“In Uttar Pradesh, one of India’s poorest states, a pair of US-born entrepreneurs is creating a new model for energy delivery to villages far from the grid. The founders of Mera Gao Power build and operate solar-powered micro grids to provide low-cost lighting and mobile phone charging to village houses, giving many rural people access to both light and power for the first time in their lives.” Read the full article here.

Mera Gao Power extends its network to Five Villages
As of February 8, 2012, MGP has extended its network of lighting utilities to five villages of Uttar Pradesh. MGP is building utilities in clusters of 4 to 5 villages in Sitapur district, just north of Lucknow, the state’s capital. Amazingly, even before one village installation completes, representatives from neighboring villages travel to request service in their villages. They even come with list of customers before they’ve seen the lights working! This is evidence that our cluster approach to building and operating our lighting utilities is working.

Mera Gao Power Presentation at the White House
On February 8, 2012, the White House hosted an event on Innovations for Global Development. Mera Gao Power, a USAID DIV grantee, was selected to present at the event. View the presentation here

Could Solar Lighting Be the Next Mobile Phone?
Much like telecoms in the 1990s, the electricity industry in developing countries may be on the cusp of a revolution thanks to technology advance. Take Mera Gao Power (MGP for short), which operates in Uttar Pradesh. It puts solar panels on the roof of a house, batteries inside the building below and runs wires to other houses in the village to provide power. Four panels are sufficient to provide an entire village of 100 households with two to four LED lights each and mobile phone charging.Read the full article here

Indian villagers’ lives transformed by new energy delivery system
A social enterprise is providing low-cost mobile-charging and light services through micro grids in Uttar Pradesh, enabling the poorest to cease relying on kerosene – and to stay connected.Read the full article here.

USAID Development Innovation Ventures Grant
MGP has been selected for a $300,000 award to build and operate 40 micro grids in Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh, India by mid 2013. In addition to building these micro grids, MGP will conduct quarterly assessments to measure the impact of MGP’s service on education, health, and income. With a successful implementation of this project, MGP will be able to demonstrate the commercial viability of power delivery services to BOP households in remote, rural villages.

WWF Green Game Changer
The World Wildlife Fund has identified MGP as a Green Game Changer.

“Micro-grid systems can share the costs of rooftop solar PV installation and maintenance between multiple households. The cost of the solar PV micro-grid can be kept low as the energy demand from households using LED lighting is typically low. Low cost micro-grids can play an important enabling role in meeting India’s goals to extend solar-powered lighting to rural areas.”

Download the full report here.

Coverage in the Financial Times
In rural villages in Uttar Pradesh, India, Mera Gao Micro-Grid Power (MGP) is installing rooftop solar photovoltaic panels that generate power that can be shared by other villagers.“Everyone shares the cost, which might be too high if you were putting it on every house,” says Dax Lovegrove, head of business and industry at WWF. Its Green Game-Changers study highlights such innovations, many in the developing world.Read the full article here

Wantrapraneur Finalist
MGP was selected as a finalist for the Wantrapreneur 2011 business plan competition.Wantrapreneur is the annual social business plan competition organized as a part of Unconvention, the premier conference addressing the Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship eco-system. The idea of Wantrapreneur is to identify enterprises with market ready solutions in the start-up and early growth categories across agriculture & other sectors that can impact rural lives.