A successful installation of SustainSolar’s first two units for mini-grid operator OnePower in Lesotho

Power Africa, a U.S Government-led initiative, awarded $2.6m worth of grants across 9 countries, to electrify 300 primary healthcare facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Containerised solar system supplier SustainSolar has won the contract to supply seven containerised solar mini-grids to provide electricity to several clinics in Lesotho. The installations were ordered by the mini-grid developer OnePower, a recipient of one of the grants and a growing energy access start-up whose passions lies with innovating economically-viable solutions to provide electricity services to communities living outside of central grid service in Lesotho.

Packed in a 20ft container and equipped with leading high performance solar panels, Solar MD battery modules, SMA inverters and a lightweight mounting structure, the Sustain Compact™ solution designed for OnePower has an initial PV capacity of 20 kWp and a storage capacity of 51 kWh. With the quick installation of a modular, off-grid, solar power system, these mobile solutions are ideally suited for remote locations, rural electrification, and temporary installations, which in turn supports large rollouts. SustainSolar’s equipment package is also suitable for asset financing solutions, such as leasing, which the company is currently testing for market introduction later this quarter.  

SustainSolar delivered two of seven containers in December with the remaining following during the first quarter. The first system was commissioned still before Christmas at a clinic in Ha Nkau village, an off-grid rural community three hours from Lesotho’s capital, Maseru. The Sustain Compact™ solution is powering Ha Nkau’s maternity ward, pharmacy, TB/HIV/COVID screening, cold storage, medical imaging, and other health services. As a regional resource, the facility assists up to 200 people per day.

The remaining off-grid solar systems are currently being installed by the OnePower’s team on site with remote support from SustainSolar in Cape Town. “The modular, rapid deployment systems from SustainSolar were an ideal choice for these projects as they offer a quick turnaround time and reduce the complexity and time spent on site”, says Matthew Orosz, CEO of OnePower. The developer and SustainSolar consider this clinic project the starting point for future collaboration with the aim to scale-up the roll-out of mini-grids.  

Founded in 2018, SustainSolar offers turnkey containerized, pre-installed solar and battery systems equipped with top-quality solar PV electronics including lithium-ion batteries which come in three standardized yet adjustable product configurations from small to large to suit a wide range of energy needs. With its commitment to quality, a rapidly growing track record on the African continent, and an expanding network of local partners, SustainSolar is a preferred solution provider for mini-grid operators as well as off-grid and hybrid fuel saving applications. SustainSolar strives to reduce implementation risk for project developers, alleviates operational hassles such as sourcing, logistics and commissioning and offers asset financing for its product range.