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African Development Bank supports first utility-scale solar PV project in Lesotho

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Staff Writer | August 12, 2017
The African Development Bank (AfDB)-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) approved a $695,500 grant to NEO I SPV, a subsidiary of OnePower Lesotho, to support the preparation of a bankable business case for the development of the winning project of the 2016 Lesotho 20 MW solar PV tender.
Solar power Lesotho
Africa   The power will feed into the national grid
This is foreseen to become the first utility-scale solar PV project in Lesotho.

The power will feed into the national grid in Mafeteng Province.

The Project will contribute to a strategic phase-out of costly power imports from Mozambique and to reducing reliance on imported coal-generated power from South Africa, thereby promoting independence of power supply, achieving substantial savings in the national budget and abating regional CO2 emissions.

Project will further support rural development by stabilizing the grid in Mafeteng Province.

The Project will contribute about 13% to Lesotho’s maximum system demand of around 150 MW.

By substituting 20 MW of costly imported power from Mozambique, it will decrease power retail prices in Lesotho.

It will also entail greenhouse gas emission substitution effects as a result of reducing imports of thermally generated power from RSA.

The Project is aligned with the Bank’s 10-Year Strategy focusing on inclusive/green growth through the delivery of energy access, the Bank’s Energy Policy and the New Deal on Energy for Africa.

On national level, the Project is aligned with Lesotho National Electrification Master Plan (NEMP), the Lesotho Electricity Authority Act No.12 of 2002 and its National Rural Electrification Program (NREP) as well as with the Government of Lesotho Vision 2020 and its 5th Pillar “Poverty Reduction through Energy Access.”