Solar photovoltaic (PV) based mini-grid systems are effective solutions for the supply of clean electricity in areas where the electricity supply is erratic or inadequate. About 14,000 mini and microgrid systems installed in India are operated and maintained by the government, companies, and not-for-profit organisations. The objective of the present study is to investigate the performance of PV mini grids to ascertain technical design, system utilization, and consumer requirements to identify the potential barriers and technical and operational challenges. In this study technical and management concerns related to six functional mini grids of capacity 15 kW to 19 kW in the Indian state of Jharkhand are presented. A detailed analysis is carried out considering sizing, system utilization, operation and maintenance (O&M), safety, and plant management, required skill and training of manpower. These issues are then compared with different developer types. The results of mini-grid user feedback survey are also presented. The study shows that the operational and commercial success of mini-grid projects can be achieved through optimal system design and utilization, effective operation, and maintenance and by addressing technical, commercial, and social issues.
To read the full article please click here (10.1016/j.esd.2023.02.013)