Members area

OnePower

Period

2018

Country

Lesotho

Sector

Renewable energy

Financial facility

ElectriFI

ElectriFI signed a development finance loan of EUR 0.1m with OnePower Africa, to study the feasibility of bringing affordable and reliable electricity to 25 off-grid villages in Lesotho, giving families, schools, health clinics, and local businesses the opportunity to thrive. Additionally, in December 2021, together with REPP, ElectriFI invested EUR 4.4 million to bring energy access to 20,000 people in rural Lesotho.

Project overview

OnePower has been working on the inter-dependent technical and economic aspects of rural electrification for some years, resulting in an optimised design process with sizing and layout of our energy systems targeted at expected load profiles including locally manufactured technology as much as possible. Through this unique approach combined with a low cost of capital, OnePower can provide electricity to its customers at an affordable rate. This investment will finance a detailed feasibility study for the company’ plans to build, own and operate solar PV minigrid projects in 25 pre-identified villages in rural Lesotho.

ElectriFI contracted a EUR 4.4 million equity-and-debt with OnePower Lesotho PTY Ltd to build mini-grids that will provide first-time electricity access to 20,000 people and enable seven health clinics to benefit from renewable energy. This is the second investment in the company, after a Development Finance Loan of 0.1 million in 2018.

OnePower Lesotho PTY Ltd has been developing Lesotho’s first solar-battery mini-grid at the village of Ha Makebe in the Berea district, and is now ready to design, procure the equipment, build and operate a portfolio of up to 11 mini-grids for a total capacity of 1,8 MW in rural communities of Lesotho. This investment into the project vehicle, Sotho Minigrid Portfolio SPV, will fund the construction of the portfolio of mini-grids in Lesotho.

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Funding objective

The equity-and-debt investment into the project vehicle, Sotho Minigrid Portfolio SPV, will fund the construction of the portfolio of mini-grids in Lesotho. Once built, the mini-grids will provide first-time electricity access to 20,000 people and enable seven health clinics to benefit from renewable energy.

Investment rationale

EDFI ElectriFI is supportive of OnePower business model as it has a positive developmental impact and enables new connections to a high-quality, cost-effective 24/7 AC power in rural Lesotho, while also
having positive environmental and economic impacts.

Key Indicators

Financial Instrument

Development finance loan

Amount

EUR 0.1m (2018) Status: exited + December 2021 EUR 4.4m

Year

May 2018 + December 2021

Targeted impact – Number of beneficiaries

20,500

Targeted impact – Annual output

2,000 MWh/y

Targeted impact – GHG avoidance

1,580 tCO2eq/y