80 kW Solar PV System at Aja Nye

The first-ever 80 kW Decentralized Distributed Generation of Solar PV system installed in sacred community of Aja Nye, Mongar

The construction of the first-ever Decentralized Solar PV system of 80 KiloWatt (kW) in the rural community of Aja will now benefit 34 households who have lived without electricity till date including thousands of pilgrims who visit annually.

The solar project benefits 34 permanent households and 1000s of pilgrims annually.

A 50 kW system is constructed in Dawathang with the funding support of Nu. 15.14 million from Bhutan for Life (BFL) which covers the 21 HHs including the community guest house, Lhakhangs and nomadic huts. A 30 kW system at Pema Yangdzong, and Dunkhar Choling is constructed with the funding support from Bhutan Foundation. The project is also supported by GEF Small Grants Programme UNDP Bhutan and it is implemented by the Department of Renewable Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan and the Bhutan Ecological Society(BES). The construction began in 20th October 2021 and completed on 30th November 2022 with the total fund of Nu. 31.5 million.

Aja Nye is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites under Shermuhung gewog in Mongar Dzongkhag. It is located within the core zone of the Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS). The nearest road leading to Aja terminates at a place called Yarab, which is 20 km from the Shermuhung gewog center with an additional 6 hours on foot to reach the community. Since the community is located in the core zone of the Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS) which is one of the protected areas (PAs), the community was largely dependent on fuelwood for heating and cooking.

“I have lived my entire life here. Even doing daily chores like cooking at home is very hard. To see the light in my home during my lifetime, I am very happy” Angay Tshering Yangzom (69)”

“I have learned so much from this project and now if we replicate this elsewhere, the department can really put an optimized version of this kind of project,” said Galey Dorji, Project Manager, Department of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan. “It will not only reduce our reliance on fuelwood and traditional lamps, but it will also create employment opportunities and stimulate economic growth through ecotourism in the community,” he added.

This Solar PV system is first of its kind and provides an opportunity for replication in other parts of the country.

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