Global Himalayan Expedition sets up the first DC solar grid installation in the Himalayas

Global Himalayan Expedition sets up the first DC solar grid installation in the Himalayas

Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE), one of the most successful efforts in India in the field of Impact Tourism, after setting up the 3rd Pole Education Base (E-Base) during its maiden expedition last year, has set up three (3)Solar Microgrids at ‘Sumda Chenmo’, a 11thcentury ancient village nestled at 14,000 ft in the Zanskar valley
GHE team comprised  Saeed Al Mamari, Rolf Palgard, Esther Wong, Rikke Maria Eriksenare. Saeed is a world renowned mountaineer who has scaled the tallest summits, including the Mt. Everest, in each of the seven Continents, Rolf is a Pilot in the Royal Danish Air force, Esther is a lifestyle writer and food critique in Hong-Kong, and Rikke is a seasoned Military Psychologist. 
They, among the 20 other participants representing nine countries, trekked in the sun for two days, towards the mountains and away from civilization, braved the rain in -3/-4 degree Celsius temperature,while their skin cracked and tanned, and crisscrossed narrow winding trails to climb over the famous Konzke La pass at 16,000 ft, to finally reach the village of Sumda Chenmo.The village was an outpost during the ancient silk route and had never seen light in its 1000 years of existence. The participants representing India, Denmark, USA, UAE, Hong Kong, and Sri Lanka, among others, worked hard for three days to install and setup the solar panels, install batteries, mount electrical wiring and fit light bulb connections. The team installed three (3) DC Solar Microgrids, a first of its kind in the Himalayas, to power-up the entire village of Sumda chenmo. The grid also supports a DC LED television (TV), again a first of its kind in the region, custom built for this project.
According to Paras Loomba, GHE Founder and Expedition Leader, around 7.00 pm on Aug 20, as the sun went down, the 121 energy efficient  LED bulbs bathed the village of Sumda Chenmo in a pool of incandescent white light, illuminating the ancient heritage. As soon as the grid went live, the villagers spontaneously broke-off into singing and dancing on traditional Ladakhi songs, and distributing locally brewed barley beer, Chhhaang. “

The journey

The journey which began on August 10thin Leh, focused on the holistic Himalayan experience, not only showcasing the heritage of the mighty Himalayas but also stretching across local cultural connect, sustainability focused activities, and Tri-Adventure experience including – biking, trekking and rafting.
The GHE 2.0 team visited the Third Pole E-Baseat Mahabodhi and connected with the native communities, local leaders, and sustainability experts in the region.The students of Mahabodhi School performed the traditional Ladakhi dances to familiarize the participants with the local art and music. A heritage walk through the ancient city of Leh and its quaint lanes evoked the hearts and minds of the expedition members.
About Global Himalayan Expedition
The Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) is an annual 12 day, experiential trip to the ‘Roof of the world’, Ladakh. Initiated in August 2013 by a group of passionate individuals,GHE is the brainchild of Paras Loomba, an engineer, a technology innovator, and an avid trekker, who, post his Antarctica Expedition, conceptualized the first of its kind, Impact Tourism, initiative in India.
The expedition combines community development initiatives focused on clean energy, education,and leadership, while leveraging adventure tourism as a means to create a positive social impact. In its inaugural 2013 edition, GHE setup world’s Third E-Base, an education centre, connecting the Ladakhi kidsto the outside worldconnect through interactive knowledge sessions, supported by a digital learning medium and a network of connected partner institutions across the world. Carrying forward the focus, this year’s edition of the Expedition focusedonsetting-up of solar micro grid in remote Himalayan villages.
Supported by Robert Swan OBE, Corporates, nature seekers, adventure enthusiasts, and environmentand bio-diversity sustainability experts from all over the world, GHE focuses on reaching out to marginalized communities based in rural and inaccessible terrains throughout India. Each year 20 participants are selected after a stringent application selection and a multi-screening interview process. GHE alumni includes representatives from Kellogg Innovation Network, Yale Business School& London School of Economics graduates, Entrepreneurs including CEO of Azure power (Solar company, India),the distinguished Cycle for Water team, professionals from Deloitte, Proctor & Gamble, KPMG, etc.
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