11 Solar Mini-Grids Coming Up In Lesotho

Africa’s ‘2nd Largest’ Project Financed Mini-Grid Transaction Achieves Financial Close

11 Solar Mini-Grids Coming Up In Lesotho

OnePower has secured financing to realize 1.8 MW solar mini grids with battery storage to provide 1st time electricity access to people in rural Lesotho. (Photo Credit: Electrification Financing Initiative)

  • OnePower has raised LSL 75 million each from EDFI ElectriFI and REPP for its mini-grid development in Lesotho
  • It will use tracker technology to deploy solar PV and battery storage mini-grids in the country
  • This 1.8 MW combined capacity will provide 1st time electricity access to 20,000 people and 7 health clinics

Lesotho based OnePower or 1PWR has raised LSL 75 million ($5 million) each from EU-funded Electrification Financing Initiative (EDFI ElectriFI) and UK government’s Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP) for 1.8 MW mini-grids.

EDFI ElectriFI calls this as Africa’s 2nd largest project-financed mini-grid transaction.

Both the entities have contributed a mix of equity and debt into OnePower’s project vehicle Sotho Minigrid Portfolio, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that will realize this capacity in the form of 11 solar and battery energy systems. OnePower said it will deploy trackers and smart meters for these projects.

Lesotho has a rural electrification rate of less than 20%, with some 62% of the population having no access to electricity. A social enterprise, OnePower sees this capacity on completion providing 1st time electricity access to 20,000 people and 7 health clinics in the rural part of the country.

International financing, thanks to the support of GET.invest—an EU program—enables it to offer a tariff of LSL 5.00 ($0.33) per kWh, said OnePower.

The company has previously carried out the country’s 1st solar mini-grid with a loan from REPP, said Managing Director of Camco Clean Energy, Geoff Sinclair. He said, “It has been tremendously satisfying to witness the successful completion of that mini-grid and there is a real buzz of excitement to now be supporting this next and much larger phase of the project.” Camco manages both EDFI ElectriFI and REPP.

In July 2021, EDFI ElectriFI along with other financing partners backed PowerGen to set up 28 solar PV and battery mini-grids in Rural Nigeria (see Solar Mini-Grids For 55,000 People In Rural Nigeria).

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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