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OnePower: enhancing Lesotho’s manufacturing capacity of solar PV components

OnePower (1PWR) is a solar power developer based in Lesotho with both on-grid and off-grid projects. 

A consortium led by 1PWR won Lesotho’s first tender for a utility scale 20MW PV plant, and 1PWR designed, built and operates the nation’s first fully licensed and privately financed minigrid at Ha Makebe in Berea district. In addition to being an independent power producer, 1PWR is also a manufacturer of key components of the solar equipment supply chain for solar power projects. Currently, the company is Africa’s only manufacturer of single axis tracking frames for solar panels designed to orient the panels towards the sun.

With support from PREO, 1PWR was able to enhance local manufacturing capacity to deliver solar PV trackers, smart meters, and mini-grid Power houses to mini-grid electrification projects underway in Lesotho, thereby reducing the country’s reliance on panel imports, while supporting local value creation and employment. In addition, by indigenising production of these critical infrastructures 1PWR is driving local value creation and demonstrating a roadmap for reducing the cost of off-grid electricity supply with results that are scalable to rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa.

As part of this project, 1PWR also collaborated with the Energy Research Centre (ERC) of the National University of Lesotho (NUL) to build internship opportunities and local technical capacity, with over 19 students participating, 13 of which were converted to full time employees.

For more information on 1PWR, visit:


BURN: bringing energy-efficient cookstoves within reach of low-income families

BURN designs, manufactures, and sells affordable and energy-efficient clean cookstoves to low-income households in developing economies.

With support from PREO, BURN expanded its range of clean cookstoves and began production of the newly designed Kuniokoa TURBO Stove at their factory in Kenya and launched distribution across rural Kenya through existing distribution partnerships. The TURBO is a forced draft biomass stove that is compatible with Pay-As-You-Go (“PAYG”) solar systems and is more efficient and cleaner-burning than their innovative Kuniokoa stove.

Independent tests have shown that the Kuniokoa, which was launched by BURN in 2017, is the most fuel-efficient and cleanest burning rocket stove in Africa. However, it has limitations, such as: reduced performance with wet wood; inability to burn agricultural waste briquettes; increased tending time compared to a 3-stone fire; and no reduction in time to boil compared to an open fire.

The TURBO aims to address these challenges with the addition of a 1.4-Watt fan, which increases mixing above and below the fuel bed, allowing the stove to burn agricultural waste briquettes, wet wood, and dry wood faster, cleaner, and more efficiently. The TURBO decreases time to boil by ~60% and decreases the tending interval by 30%, resulting in faster results and significantly less smoke and air pollution when comparing to traditional open fire solutions. The TURBO can burn wood fuel with up to 27% moisture content (wet basis) as clean as LPG. The TURBO, once launched, will be the only production household cookstove in the world that achieves ISO/IWA “Tier 4”[1] performance with agricultural waste briquettes.

BURN is assessing the potential of target markets in Kenya, and other sub-Saharan markets such as Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania. The company has existing distribution networks in these areas, including partnerships with key PAYG solar distributors who currently sell other BURN products including their flagship stoves Jikokoa and Kuniokoa. BURN’s innovative distribution strategy for the TURBO will leverage these partners, who provide ready customer bases and asset financing, making the TURBO available to the lowest income households. In addition to solar distributors, BURN distributes its products through a variety of outlets, the majority of which are locally owned and operated. These outlets vary from small shops and traditional retailers to larger supermarkets.

For more information on BURN, visit

[1] International Standards Organization / International Workshop Agreement (ISO/IWA) Tier 4 level “is pegged to achievement of WHO interim indoor air quality guidelines” (, pdf, p.6)