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Community-Based Mini-Grid Operation

Locally managed × Locally sustainable

 

Our mission is to enable rural communities to manage and operate community mini-grids while saving money on maintenance and operational costs, offsetting rural diesel consumption, and serving more households with reliable electricity.


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locally-managed diesel mini-grids in Myanmar

 

The mini-grid market in Myanmar is globally exceptional. These systems are a unique opportunity to better understand and strengthen community-based management models, and represents the potential for more holistic and sustainable energy development.  While these diesel mini-grids are an opportunity, they have challenges:
 

  • INEFFICIENT sub-optimal initial design and capacity gap

  • EXPENSIVE reliant on diesel and often run at a loss

  • LIMITED SERVICE operators can't afford to run year-round

  • EMISSIONS lack of financing for cleaner alternatives

 

Solution

Teach local technicians to optimize, hybridize, operate, and maintain their own (and others’) mini-grids

Leveraging the country’s existing 13,000+ diesel mini-grids as learning tools for rural electricians, Mee Panyar rehabilitates or hybridizes these systems while filling the capacity gap in long-term operations and maintenance (O&M).

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Community

Both leverage and strengthen existing community infrastructure, services, and social structures

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Efficiency

Enable legacy mini-grids to run more efficiently through optimized systems design and hybridization

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CAPACITY

Build technical skills for operations, maintenance, & income generating activities, with inclusive training

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Sustainability

Replace existing diesel-based generation with solar electricity, in an economical way

 

Impact

Mee Panyar's lean approach and training model is designed to address the underlying local capacity deficit and returns control over the system's reliability in the community’s hands.

 
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50% reduction in household tariffs

from efficiency gains & diesel-displacement

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300% increase in operator income

from reduction of operational costs & increase in units of electricity sold

60% reduction in carbon emissions

from diesel-displacement with solar PV

Team 

Natasha Allen |  Founder & Managing Director  Natasha has recognized expertise in developing training programs for solar education and a strong technical background that she has employed in improved cookstoves M&E with Potential Energy and servicing and maintenance strategy with We Care Solar. Natasha was awarded the prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for her research in best practices for building capacity and ensuring sustainability in energy access interventions. She holds a BSc in Physics from Harvey Mudd College and an MSc in Engineering for International Development from University College London.

Natasha Allen | Founder & Managing Director

Natasha has recognized expertise in developing training programs for solar education and a strong technical background that she has employed in improved cookstoves M&E with Potential Energy and servicing and maintenance strategy with We Care Solar. Natasha was awarded the prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for her research in best practices for building capacity and ensuring sustainability in energy access interventions. She holds a BSc in Physics from Harvey Mudd College and an MSc in Engineering for International Development from University College London.

Benjamin Attia |  Market Development & Strategy  Benjamin has recognized subject-matter expertise in renewable energy policy and markets and community-based finance and long-term O&M business models for off-grid and mini-grid projects. He authors regular solar industry research publications and provides market research, and bespoke strategy advisory to key stakeholders in on-grid and off-grid solar markets in emerging economies at GTM Research. Ben has experience working in PV asset management and commercial operations at SunEdison.

Benjamin Attia | Market Development & Strategy

Benjamin has recognized subject-matter expertise in renewable energy policy and markets and community-based finance and long-term O&M business models for off-grid and mini-grid projects. He authors regular solar industry research publications and provides market research, and bespoke strategy advisory to key stakeholders in on-grid and off-grid solar markets in emerging economies at GTM Research. Ben has experience working in PV asset management and commercial operations at SunEdison.

Nithya Menon |  Technology  Nithya has employed her rigorous technical background and commitment to people-centered design in India, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Mali. She has developed and implemented water access and agricultural products and services with organizations such as Proximity Designs and iDE. These experiences allow her to approach problems with more than just a technical mindset and help her work passionately towards solutions that create sustainable impact. Nithya has a wide range of technical skills, earning her engineering degree from Harvey Mudd College.

Nithya Menon | Technology

Nithya has employed her rigorous technical background and commitment to people-centered design in India, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Mali. She has developed and implemented water access and agricultural products and services with organizations such as Proximity Designs and iDE. These experiences allow her to approach problems with more than just a technical mindset and help her work passionately towards solutions that create sustainable impact. Nithya has a wide range of technical skills, earning her engineering degree from Harvey Mudd College.

Sierra Fan   |  Financing  Sierra has helped execute >$1 billion of energy and infrastructure project financings across the capital spectrum. Previously, she advised, structured, and executed fixed income hedging strategies for Asian corporates, including a number of leading energy producers and distributors. In the off-grid space, she has coordinated fundraising and distribution of over 20,000 solar lanterns with the nonprofit One Million Lights and designed impact evaluation methods for microgrids in Nepal. She graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Economics and a secondary in Energy and the Environment.

Sierra Fan | Financing

Sierra has helped execute >$1 billion of energy and infrastructure project financings across the capital spectrum. Previously, she advised, structured, and executed fixed income hedging strategies for Asian corporates, including a number of leading energy producers and distributors. In the off-grid space, she has coordinated fundraising and distribution of over 20,000 solar lanterns with the nonprofit One Million Lights and designed impact evaluation methods for microgrids in Nepal. She graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Economics and a secondary in Energy and the Environment.

Pann Hnin See Oo |  Community Manager  Pann Hnin Yee Oo has a passion for her country and her community, which she has shared with others through her work as a regional tour guide. Motivated by her strong personal drive and ability for self-direction, Pann left her job at a travel company to provide her own touring and teaching services in Myeik. Her desire for knowledge and new experiences is evidenced by her enjoyment of traveling and reading. Pann aims to support the under-served communities of her country and see electricity access as a powerful way to have a better and easier life. She graduated with a B.A. in English from Myeik University and has certifications in Tour Guiding and Business Management.

Pann Hnin See Oo | Community Manager

Pann Hnin Yee Oo has a passion for her country and her community, which she has shared with others through her work as a regional tour guide. Motivated by her strong personal drive and ability for self-direction, Pann left her job at a travel company to provide her own touring and teaching services in Myeik. Her desire for knowledge and new experiences is evidenced by her enjoyment of traveling and reading. Pann aims to support the under-served communities of her country and see electricity access as a powerful way to have a better and easier life. She graduated with a B.A. in English from Myeik University and has certifications in Tour Guiding and Business Management.

Jack Pegler |  Operations  Jack spent over 4 years as a key manager in one of Cambodia’s leading solar energy companies, NRG Solutions, where he was in charge of all off grid activities. Extensive experience coordinating work in the field has given him an excellent understanding of the challenges faced by the field teams working in energy access, allowing him to develop the tools and guidelines necessary to ensure that our business model is implemented correctly. Jack holds a Master’s degree in Particle Physics from University College London.

Jack Pegler | Operations

Jack spent over 4 years as a key manager in one of Cambodia’s leading solar energy companies, NRG Solutions, where he was in charge of all off grid activities. Extensive experience coordinating work in the field has given him an excellent understanding of the challenges faced by the field teams working in energy access, allowing him to develop the tools and guidelines necessary to ensure that our business model is implemented correctly. Jack holds a Master’s degree in Particle Physics from University College London.

 
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Contact Us

Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or comments. For further information on Mee Panyar's approach, download our position paper by completing the form below.

 
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