First project is a pilot project for Micro hydropower
In February 2007 were Anders Austegard and Lars Mjølhus visiting Uttarakhand to do field inspections together with the local project coordinator Jogendra Bisht. We checked 3 possible villages and the chosen village was Jabar in Almora district in Uttarakhand state in north of India. The canal system from an existing mill will be used, but the canals will be expanded to get enough water for power production.
Friends of Himalaya was started to give economical support to this project, and this is the first project we have been involved in. After the visit in 2007 there have been proposed several other project ideas related to micro hydropower.
The initiative to establish this project came from Lars Mjølhus. In cooperation with Anders Austegard he assists the local project group with knowledge and technology to built a micro hydropower plant that will produce ca. 12kW. It will be imported 2 turbines from Afghanistan, where Austegard ordinarily is involved in building this sort of constructions. The first turbine will be installed in Jabar, and the second one will be used as a model for production. The project will contact small engineering workshops in Himalaya to start the production of these turbines, and even now we have one workshop in Ranikhet that will try to produce one turbine based on drawings and model from Remote Hydrolight.
It will be attached importance to local participation and it will be established a committee in the village that will be involved in construction and daily management of the hydropower plant. The local mobilization will be conducted by Jogendra Bisht, who lives in Ranikhet and has many years of experience with this sort of mobilization and village development.
Friends of Himalaya ha learned to know one another exciting project where women in the Ranikhet area has established the company Hillcraft. 21 women are now busy with producing different cards and jewelry. This has become a very attractive workplace, where women now have got a chance to get their own income.