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.

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