Shell Foundation Invests in Husk Power Systems (converts Rice to Electricity)

Husk Power Systems, winner and recipient of $250K from DFJ’s B-plan competition has raised funds from Shell Foundation.

Husk Power systems, started by University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business students converts rice husks into energy and has created proprietary technology that cost-effectively converts rice husks into electricity.

Rice husks (the casing on the outside of rice grains) have traditionally been discarded. However, upon heating, rice husk releases gas and which HPS uses to  run modified diesel engines to generate electricity. The waste product of the process is high in silica and can be sold to concrete manufacturers.

HPS owns and operates 35-100 kW “mini power-plants” that deliver electricity as a pay-for-use service to villages of 2,000 to 4,000 inhabitants in the Indian Rice Belt. Each plant becomes operationally profitable in the first six months of operations. HPS has successfully implemented projects in 50 villages in Bihar and will expand its footprint to 100 villages in 2009, 400 in 2010, and 2000 in 2012. 


Shell Foundation has been a partner to Husk Power Systems since November 2008, providing ongoing business development assistance and technical support. The funding will be used to deliver more power plants, increase the operational and technical capacity of the company and develop the Husk Power Systems brand in India and the US.


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