Sotho Minigrid Portfolio
As of May 2022, OnePower is rolling out 10 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 mini-grids 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 solar panels mounted on trackers manufactured in Lesotho, deep-cycle batteries, and a backup generator at each site. The engineering design of each system individually ensures that a backup generator (typically LPG) accounts for no more than 6% of total consumption.
Our current portfolio comprises 10 villages with an estimated 30,000 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, Lesotho Electricity and Water Authority as well as local chiefs and councils to achieve full compliance with regulations and with the rural electrification strategy. To this end, 10 villages, namely Tlhanyaku and Matsoaing in the northern district of Mokhotlong; Mashai, Sehonghong, Sehlaba Thebe and Lebakeng in the South East; Tosing and Sebapala in the south and lastly Ketane and Ribaneng, west of the Senqu river have been granted concession contracts to begin project development with the full support of The Lesotho Department of Energy. These projects are fully market-driven: revenue from electricity sales covers capital costs (via debt repayment) and operating costs.