Beyond the grid


The Rockefeller Foundation has pledged $75 million to power mini-grid systems in 1,000 villages in the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar areas of India. The Smart Power for Rural Development project is to take place over the next three years. The foundation predicts that the plan will initially benefit one million people.

New Mexico State University in Las Cruces is to host a roundtable on solar water pumping and off-grid lighting on Wednesday, April 29. Speakers will include Stirling Spencer of Bartz-Spencer Solar & Wind Turbine Pumping Systems and the university’s own Thomas Jenkins. For more details, contact Shad Cox at 575-849-1015 or email

Renovagen has implemented its Roll-Array portable solar off-grid system at the BRE Innovation Park in Watford, England. The system uses solar to charge electric vehicles. More information can be found here.

Solar cemetery

South African group Calgro M3 is set to launch Calgro M3 Memorial Parks, which will develop cemeteries that will be completely off-grid and self-sustainable, according to the company. The first commercially operated off-grid graveyard will open in May in Nasrec near Soweto. The move coincides with ongoing problems at South Africa’s national electricity provider Eskom, which has led to a good run in solar development for the country.

Azuri Technologies is partnering with the Ghanaian government and Oasis African Resources to install 100,000 off-grid systems across the country. The initiative was launched at the Solar & Off-Grid Renewables West Africa. The systems will be pay-as-you-go. No details on timeframe have yet been released.