People Power Stations


Sample Designs for People Power Stations in Emerging and Developed Economies

People Power Stations compensate persons with local credit to develop their local renewable energy resources, and then discount that energy when traded for the local credit. This discount creates a demand for Reconomy credit, which works right beside national currency but stays in communities, empowering each of us to develop and protect all our human and natural resources.

Sample Design for Emerging Economy

Our emerging-marketplace pilots begin with pedal-power to generate electricity, providing paid employment to community members who build, manage and operate these community-based People Power Stations (PPS). Every PPS offers all employees the option of accepting their pay in either their local community's SunMoney currency (Reconomy community credit), which discounts the purchase of energy, or in national currency. The discount creates a demand for this credit that incentivizes and funds development of local resources for local consumption. By employing community members in production of energy, we create the opportunity for anyone to join their local marketplace, so that essential commodities get to those whom need them most. This is the core of Reconomy's strategy: To empower communities to develop and protect their human and natural resources by building resilient, self-reliant marketplaces.

The first pilot design for our emerging-marketplace model is Vigyan Ashram (VA) [8], a hands-on science school in Pabal, India. VA specializes in introducing innovative technologies and pilots aimed at advancing the quality of life for all of India. It was a key participant in the recent "Swavalamban" [9] study, a "human-powered lighting solution" that used pedal-power, sponsored by the World Bank and the Save Bombay Committee. This study stands as a proof for the demand and sustainability of this net-zero greenhouse gas, weather-immune, energy solution, and it serves as a partial roadmap for implementation of our Reconomy strategy.



The Swavalamban study of pedal-power lighting has laid the groundwork. "Swavalamban" is the Hindi word for "self-reliance" [9]

VA chose Pabal as the location for its work because conditions there typify economic challenges faced in rural India. Thus Pabal and VA provide both an ideal location and the expertise for our PPS pilot. Although now a sample design, in 2010 VA committed its present infrastructure and logistical support, assistance with documentation, and possible additional funding as necessary from its Dept. of Science and Technology, pending approval from its Executive body.

VA and Pabal

Vigyan Ashram is a few hundred meters east of the center of the rural village of Pabal, India [8]

The Pabal pilot is designed to quickly scale to serve many communities in the network of 72 schools linked with Vigyan Ashram across the Indian State of Maharashtra. These PPS would provide SunMoney community credit and electricity for these schools and their communities, and are also designed as businesses that students might learn to operate because the comprehensive VA educational approach includes vocational training, thus this pilot functions as a seed for scaling nationally.

Each PPS will grow to include solar photovoltaic, small wind, and other community-scale power resources to provide for the growing needs of their developing marketplaces. They will also evolve to provide ICT centers to facilitate internet access for full participation in the Reconomy marketplace (described below).

Net Impact Pune (NIPune) [10] - Pune's professional chapter of the nonprofit Net Impact global community of business leaders and professionals - agreed in 2010 to collaborate with VA to develop and coordinate the Pabal pilot, connecting managerial, financial, and legal assistance. NIPune won Net Impact's "International Professional Chapter of the Year" award in 2009, 2010, and 2011 through their proactive approach.


In November, 2010, some members of Net Impact Pune visited Vigyan Ashram in Pabal, about 70 km north of Pune, to familiarize themselves with the pilot location.

The standing-bicycle generators for our pedal-powered stations are designed by Bottom of Pyramid Energy and Environmental Innovations Pvt. Ltd. (BoPEEI) [11], our energy-system collaborator in India. BoPEEI began manufacturing their award-winning generators and room-lamps in 2011. Their "Chakra" system was then configured to provide up to 50 to 60 minutes of space lighting for every minute of pedaling, improving on the Swavalamban approach through economy-of-scale and state-of-the-art electronics. BoPEEI also configured rechargeable task-lamps to our specifications, similar to Nuru Light [12] systems in Africa, which can provide more than 100 minutes of optically-focused light for every minute of pedaling.

BoPPEI Chakra Generator

BoPEEI's Chakra lighting system - "Proudly Made in India" [11]

Initially, PPS will offer battery-powered LED lamps, charges for batteries, and will include BoPEEI's pedal-power generators to facilitate rapid expansion of service by local entrepreneurs. PPS in India will also offer rugged bicycles provided by World Bicycle Relief (WBR) [13]. Low cost, reliable transportation is essential to building marketplaces large enough to accomplish local sustainability. WBR's bicycles are built to handle tough conditions - such as towing PPS over rural roads to work sites - providing long-term economy.

World Bicycle Relief committed in 2010 to provide People Power Stations in India with their "Buffalo" model working bicycles at cost, making PPS the first to offer WBR bicycles in Asia [14]

Benefit-Cost Analysis for People Power Stations for Emerging Economy next_pagenext_page


Sample Design for Developed Economy

Reconomy can build communities founded on self-reliance anywhere in the world by adapting to the local level of development.  With our developed-community pilots, our members can purchase electricity online from their community PPS at a discount with SunMoney, generating the demand for this community currency that powers continuous development of local energy resources and builds genuine local marketplaces where members have a stake in local sustainability.


Members can trade SunMoney community credit, as well as their regular national money online, in their local Reconomy marketplace, but their local credit has greater value in this marketplace than national money because it delivers energy at a discount. Consequently, SunMoney used to acquire energy from local People Power Stations (PPSs) can easily be spent by these neighborhood power plants back into the local marketplace to fund further community development. This allows PPS to offer their members free walk-through assessments of their homes and businesses to identify potential energy efficiency improvements, and then target and fund the most cost-effective measures such that energy conserved can facilitate reaching new members at the lowest costs and with the least additional infrastructure.

U.S. Federal and State incentives for renewable energy development [20] make this strategy profitable, and so scalable, for neighborhoods in many States. Reconomy guarantees SunMoney's value in trade of energy available from People Power Stations (PPS) in the local communities where issued in Massachusetts (generally limited by regulations to municipal boundaries) - and at a significant discount. Additionally all Reconomy members in the United States will be able to use their local SunMoney online statewide to trade goods and services.

Berkshire-Mass Map
Berkshire County is highlighted on this map of Massachusetts

The first developed community pilot focuses on statewide implementation in Massachusetts [21]. Reconomy has chosen Massachusetts because this State is already familiar with the proven value of community currency. Massachusetts is the home of BerkShares [22] [23], a regional community currency circulating in Berkshire County at the western end of the State (see inset map). BerkShares, similar to SunMoney, is a complementary local currency, designed for use alongside national currency. More than $4 million of goods and services have been purchased with BerkShares throughout the Berkshire County region since the introduction of the currency in 2006 because BerkShares guarantees its value in exchange for US Dollars at participating local banks and because this currency delivers a 5-10% discount on purchases from participating local merchants.

In Massachusetts, as in all States in the U.S., Reconomy will contract to provide service to members through Power Purchase Agreements. Our Massachusetts members will share Net Energy Metering (NEM) credits, in accordance with the Massachusetts Neighborhood NEM program offered by this State [24]. Under Massachusetts law, NEM credits never expire, and may be transferred between qualifying customers of the same utility and within the same municipality, service territory and ISO-NE load zone. [25] Our neighborhood PPS will offer additional compensation (including remuneration in SunMoney) to residents whom help create this energy infrastructure, such as by supplying land or rooftops for our power plants and solar arrays.

ISO NE Zones

ISO-NE Map [26] of the "Independent Service Operators - New England" (ISO-NE) load zones, showing 8 areas. The 3 Massachusetts areas are the utilities's Neighborhood NEM boundaries for the purpose of sharing NEM credits for kWh produced. Mass also applies municipal boundaries as a "bright line" that citizens can easily perceive. [27]

Our Reconomy Community members will have easy access to their online marketplace through personal accounts. These accounts will feature the same Cyclos [29] trading system used in developing communities, and will be part our our global network of mutual support, guiding members in the use of both SunMoney credit and national currency, either separately or together. This will provide each member the means to trade their own goods and services, to grow their own businesses, and to acquire additional SunMoney for discounted trade of energy from their neighborhood's PPS.

Massachusetts Reconomy Benefit-Cost Analysis next_pagenext_page


Through our energy-money value loop, money that once left communities to import energy will now circulate continuously in marketplaces controlled by our members within their communities. This accomplishes not only energy self-reliance, but also empowers development of every product and service that can be sourced locally - a strategy for sustainable prosperity both locally and globally.

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