25 Minigrid Portfolio
OnePower is currently planning the roll-out of 25 mini-grids in Lesotho based on a structured and optimized schedule. Rather than looking at each minigrid in isolation, OnePower has bundled construction and operation into an efficient portfolio approach. OnePower’s minigrids will serve remote communities of different sizes but with similar consumption patterns. The service we aim to provide is a 24/7 Pay-as-you-go AC electricity setup connected at the household level: for the customer, exactly like a full-scale utility service. Power generation is provided by tracker-mounted solar panels (manufactured in Lesotho), deep-cycle batteries, and a backup generator at each site. Engineering design of each system individually ensures that backup generator (typically LPG) accounts for no more than 6% of total consumption.
Preliminary surveys have established a first set of 25 villages with an estimated 20,500 people who will receive energy services through this project. Combined these mini-grids will provide just over 1MW of grid-quality electricity at mains voltage to households that are positioned too far from the main grid to expect to receive a connection in the next decade. Our team is working diligently with the Lesotho Department of Energy and Lesotho Electricity and Water Authority to achieve full compliance with regulations and with the rural electrification strategy. These projects are fully market-driven: revenue from electricity sales covers capital costs (via debt repayment) and operating costs.