A coalition of organizations has backed a plan to install 11 “solar-battery” mini-grids in Lesotho which will have a combined generation capacity of 1.8MW. An announcement of the project on the website of the EU's EDFI Electrifi organization did not specify what battery storage capacity the mini-grids would have.
The mini-grids will be installed by the OnePower, U.S.-based non-profit out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and will reportedly supply power to 20,000 people and seven health centers via 7,300 new electricity connections. The panels will generate up to 3.48GWh of electricity annually, according to European finance development institution (EDFI) the Electrification Financing Initiative (Electrifi), and will generate 100 jobs during construction and six permanent roles.
pv magazine print edition
Get the latest edition of pv magazine today to read about the kinks in the global supply chain which, like the mixed-bag outcome of COP26, have kept a significant portion of this year’s progress tangled up. We find more to celebrate than condemn, however, for 2021 was another record year for solar installations, and the forecasts for this year look even more promising.
The local power networks will offer clean electricity to customers for an “almost cost-reflective tariff” of LSL5/kWh (€0.28) after PowerOne received help with its business plan from EU investment body Get.Invest.
EDFI Electrifi, which said it contributed LSL75 million (€4.23 million) to the project in a mixture of a loan and investment in PowerOne stock, said the mini-grids would be mounted on solar trackers designed and built by an unspecified company in sub-Saharan Africa, and would also feature smart meters.
The EU-funded electrification body said the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP) backed by the U.K. government and managed by London-based financial services company Camco Clean Energy had matched its equity and loan investment in a PowerOne project the former described as “Africa's second largest project-financed mini-grid transaction.”
The EU body said the mini-grid project also received unspecified volumes of grant funding from the UN Capital Development Fund; UN Development Program; The U.S. Agency for International Development's Power Africa fund; and U.K.-government backed UK Aid. The PowerOne portfolio also received an unspecified loan from New York impact investor the Open Road Alliance, according to EDFI Electrifi, plus legal support from Chicago-based Sidley Austin and Washington DC's Covington & Burling, via the Thomson Reuters Foundation‘s TrustLaw program.
OnePower CEO Matthew Orosz also paid tribute to the assistance offered by Lesotho's Ministry of Energy and Meteorology.
EDFI Electrifi said the funding it provided built upon an earlier €100,000 loan it gave PowerOne for a feasibility study to lay the groundwork for the mini-grid scheme and added, REPP lent LSL7 million (€395,000) to the company in 2019 to fund Lesotho's first solar-battery mini-grid, which became operational last year in the village of Ha Makebe. The scale of that project was not specified.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: email@example.com.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.