Construction of the 70MWp Mafeteng solar power plant in Lesotho is set to begin soon. This is after the Exim Bank of China opened a line of credit to finance the project. The photovoltaic solar power plant will be installed in the locality of Ha-Ramarothole, in the district of Mafeteng and will occupy a 220 hectare plot of land.
The first phase of the project which is expected to cost US $70m, will supply the national power grid with 30MWp of electricity; while the second phase which is expected to cost US $77m will have a capacity 40MWp. Construction of the second phase will only take place after the monitoring and evaluation interval of the first phase.
Power generation in Lesotho
According to the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), only 30% of households in Lesotho have access to electricity. The 72MW electricity generated from the Muela hydropower plant does not meet the growing demand of the Southern Africa country. That is why the government is looking to increase the access rate to 40% before the end of 2020. The Mafeteng solar power plant is expected to improve electricity access in Mafeteng District and in turn improve that overall number.
The installation works will be carried out by two Chinese companies, notably China Sinoma International Engineering and TBEA Xinjiang New Energy. The construction of the facility will be carried out in two phases.