Saptari Solar Water Pumping Project

Organization Name
Energy Access
Proposed Investment
USD202,230 - Grant



Last Updated
Thu, 11/23/2017 - 09:51

This Solar Water Pumping Project currently serves 20 households in the Saptari region of Nepal, helping farmers to irrigate in total 6.3 hectares of land. This affordable and reliable system enables farmers to grow crops year-round and increase cultivation of high- value produce like vegetables, resulting in a steady income and more independence. ICIMOD and SunFarmer have a shared goal of providing solar pumping solutions for irrigation to farmers in Nepal. The intent is to further strengthen the existing partnership with an additional program falling under the Reviving springs and providing access to solar powered irrigation pumps (SPIP) through community based water use planning: Multiple approaches to solving agricultural water problems in Mid-hills and Terai in Nepal and India. The goal is to demonstrate innovative, scalable and replicable business models of energy delivery in Nepal, to promote long-term sustainability of water pumping solutions for irrigation to farming communities.
What problem are you trying to solve? Who has this problem?
It is incredible that 83% of agriculture land still does not have access to year round irrigation, this despite being the lynchpin of Nepal's economy. Although solar water pumps are an established technology in some markets, in Nepal the market is still in its infancy. Lack of familiarity, coupled with the high upfront cost of this relatively new technology, have historically discouraged farmers from adopting it. Currently, no banks or cooperatives in Nepal provide financing for SWPs so the farmers can't afford to buy the product upfront. Multi-stakeholder approaches are a rarity in Nepal. SunFarmer realizes that solving such challenges in the agriculture sector requires a holistic stakeholder approach led by the private sector. Partnerships and coordination among farmers, technology providers, financial services, non-governmental and governmental institutions is crucial as the joint synergistic effort leads to success.
Value Proposition
1) Energy / Water Sales Model (Power Purchase Agreement) SunFarmer Nepal proposes a structure that will serve as owner and operator of the solar energy assets. Funding will come from the following sources: -60% grant funding from ICIMOD on the project -20% equity investment from SunFarmer Local Financial Institution -20% upfront payment from the community SunFarmer will attempt to source soft loanfunding of 20% as well to inject into the project. If soft loan is available, this will reduce the grant funding from ICIMOD to 50% and equity investment from SunFarmer Local Financial Institution to 10%. Upfront community payment will remain fixed at 20%. SunFarmer signs a Power Purchase Agreement with the client for a defined period of time. During this period SunFarmer provides routine and outrage maintenance with system insurance. The client pays monthly or quarterly fees and at the end of the PPA term the system ownership is transferred to the client at a pre-defined nominal fee. 2)UPFRONT PURCHASE MODEL Client purchases the system paying full cost, which maybe subsidized by 60%. SunFarmer will provide one stop solution to the clients with Engineering Procurement and Construction, system routine maintenance.
  • Provides modern energy access to 20 households.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 37 Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide per year.
  • Creates 45 new jobs during the lifetime on the project.
  • Improves the health conditions of 90 people.
  • Out of the total number of beneficiaries of the project, 12 are women.
  • About 60% of our customers are female farmers. Others: 1) Better quality of life, 2) Better educational facilities to their children, 3) Provides food security improving health and livelihood.
Sambaddha Pradhan, Project Development Engineer
Aditya Chauhan, Technical Manager
Hari Shrestha, VP of Operation

Renewable Energy

Swikriti Sulpya, Administrative and Finance Manager
Yubar Ratna Bajracharya, Technical Officer
Avishek Malla, CEO

Renewable Energy

Kushal Gautam, Project Manager/ Technical Officer

Renewable Energy

Shisher Shrestha, Project Manager

Renewable Energy


Maturity Level
  • Prototyping and Validation
  • Commercial Operations
  • Growth and Expansion