The Royal Government of Bhutan, through the Department of Renewable Energy (DRE), with financing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) intends to pilot test the installation of small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to the marginalized rural households and integrate it to the national grid to enable them to produce energy for their own consumption while also creating income generation opportunities through sale of excess power to the grid and introducing energy-based livelihood skills with a focus on women.

Mercados – Aries International provides an international consulting team, supported by a multidisciplinary local team, to DRE and Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC). The team will review national related regulatory framework; assist to prepare an indicative tariff for power purchase; estimate the overall roof top solar PV potential in the country; assist BPC in preparing bidding documents and procurement of the residential solar PV systems and perform other tasks.

The kick-off took place in July, and the project is expected to be finished by the end of 2024. The project will directly benefit 300 poor households in rural villages. The Alternative Renewable Energy Pilot Project aimed to demonstrate viability and sustainability of solar power as an alternative energy and income source in Bhutan.