The U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a feasibility study grant to OnePower Lesotho (Proprietary) Limited (“OnePower”), to develop a 20-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic power plant in western Lesotho. The plant will support the country’s goal of achieving 90 percent electricity access by 2020, with renewable generation comprising at least 200 MW of its capacity.
The project will also create opportunities for American firms to supply renewable energy solutions to Lesotho. Boston-based CDM International Inc. (CDM Smith) (Boston, MA) will conduct the study, which will finalize remaining preparation work the project needs to attract financing and reach implementation.
“Our partnership with OnePower and CDM Smith will transform Lesotho’s energy sector, as well as demonstrate how U.S. expertise can advance the development of sustainable infrastructure,” said Thomas R. Hardy, USTDA’s Director (Acting). “This unique project – the first utility-scale solar plant in Lesotho – represents what USTDA is all about.”
“We look forward to working with USTDA and having their support,” said Dr. Matt Orosz, Chief Executive Officer at OnePower. “USTDA’s contributions will ultimately allow Lesotho to harness its solar resources and provide a starting point for energy sector growth and development in the country.”
U.S. Ambassador to Lesotho Rebecca Gonzales added: “My colleagues and I enthusiastically support developments that increase electricity access, and the OnePower project can one day make Lesotho energy independent, and a net exporter of energy in the future.”