June 08 2023 0Comment
Solar panels at the Motete solar mini-grid in Lesotho

Motete Solar Mini-Grid Project in Lesotho

The Motete mini-grid project is in the district of Butha-Butha, in the remote Northern region of Lesotho. The project is being implemented through the Smart Villages Research Group, MOSCET (a local off-grid energy company), the National University of Lesotho and Gram Oorja, the Indian technical lead for the project. The aims of the project are to demonstrate the viability and sustainability of solar mini-grids as a solution for meeting off-grid energy demand in the country.

Solar panels at the Motete solar mini-grid in Lesotho

Motete solar mini-grid plant. Photo: M. Kali., 2022.

Open meetings were held with the community, and door-to-door visits were conducted alongside this to encourage community participation in the project. Men and women were specifically included equally in these meetings, to avoid the pitfalls of meeting the needs of some community members and not others. A liaison committee between the developers and the community was also established, comprising eleven members of the community. In terms of technical specifications, the mini-grid is a 58kWp design, and currently serves almost 350 households. As the population increases in the community, the mini-grid is connected to new households consistently.

One of the key features of the Motete project is the tailored set of productivity-enhancing technologies installed alongside the energy-producing equipment for the mini-grid. These include water-pumping solutions, grain milling machines and supporting technologies for developing entrepreneurship in the area. Productive use was a key focus of the installation, and making new electrified technologies available, such as electric water pumps for irrigation and welding equipment, alongside the installation of the mini-grid, aims to improve livelihoods for the community residents further than just access to electricity would otherwise.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0lli8oFqv4&t=1s&ab_channel=ENRDemos



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