The second and much larger phase of a pioneering solar mini-grids project in Lesotho is underway after the Camco-managed Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP) and co-funder EDFI ElectriFI signed an equity and senior debt investment deal with renewable energy developer OnePower (1PWR).
An estimated 20,000 people and seven health clinics will now be connected to clean energy for the first time through the project, which followed the successful completion of a REPP-supported pilot mini-grid site near the village of Ha Makebe last year.
The deal is understood to be the second largest project-financed mini-grid transaction in Africa to reach financial close, and saw LSL 75m (~ USD 4.7m) investments from both UK-funded REPP and EU-funded EDFI ElectriFI.
Speaking about the deal, Camco's Managing Director Geoff Sinclair said. “Two years ago, a REPP loan helped 1PWR to forge ahead with its plans to build Lesotho’s very first solar mini-grid and deliver a transformational impact on the underserved community of Ha Makebe.
“It has been tremendously satisfying to witness the successful completion of that mini-grid and there is a real buzz of excitement to now be supporting this next and much larger phase of the project.”
In addition to REPP and EDFI ElectrifFI's investments, the project received grant support from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), USAID, EEP Africa and UKAID via the Transforming Energy Access program and a loan from the Open Road Alliance. Advisory and facilitation services were provided by the European programme GET.invest and legal services from Sidley Austin LLP and Covington & Burling LLP through Thomson Reuters Foundation’s TrustLaw program.
Read the full press release on the REPP website here.