Lesotho is a small, land-locked country located within the borders of South Africa. It is nicknamed the “Kingdom of the Sky” due to its mountainous terrain and high altitude – with 80% of the country located at least 1800m above sea level.
Despite Lesotho’s rich endowment of renewable energy resources there are no utility-scale projects in operation. The country has one of the world’s lowest electrification rates with only 10% of people living with electricity in rural areas and under 50% in urban regions.
Scatec’s 20 MW solar plant will increase Lesotho’s installed generation capacity by 30%. It will improve the country’s energy independence and ultimately provide Lesotho citizens with more affordable and sustainable energy.
The Neo 1 project will be Lesotho’s first public-private, utility-scale solar plant. The project has a total estimated capex of ZAR 430 million and is owned by Scatec, Norfund, One Power Lesotho, the Lesotho Pension Fund and Izuba Energy.
Scatec will be the lead equity investor in the project and carry out the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) as well as provide Operation & Maintenance and Asset Management services to the power plant. The electricity will be sold to the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) through a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).