Watermills on the river beds of Himachal Pradesh, India, are diversifying into hydroelectric power generation.

The mills, which are traditionally used for irrigation and grinding grain, are being turned into generators as part of a project set up by the state government and the Central Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources.

The project has been encouraging villagers to adapt their watermills to generate electricity at a cost of Rs.300,000 (US$6700) per mill.

Two mills in Dugri and Samang villages in the Kullu valley have already been converted into functioning generators – producing 5MW and 3MW respectively. Others are being planned in 85 pilot locations across Himachal Pradesh.