RFP for Development of a Private Sector Financed Solar mini-grid Pilot at Ha Makebe




Development of a Private Sector Financed Solar mini-grid Pilot at Ha Makebe

Country                                                  :           THE KINGDOM OF LESOTHO

Name of Project                                     :           LESOTHO SOLAR MINI-GRID PILOT CONCESSION

In line with the 2015 Energy Policy Document and the proposed 2018 Electrification Master Plan for off-grid communities, the Government of Lesotho through the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology (MEM) intends to promote the electrification of rural areas of Lesotho through initiatives that will include solar mini-grids. To appraise the level of private investment interest, the MEM will award an inaugural concession to a private company or consortium of companies to build, own and operate a mini-grid pilot consisting of solar generation, combined battery storage and/or generator back-up, and distribution and metering infrastructure featuring a prepaid, i.e. Pay As You Go (PAYG) commercial service for rural households, businesses and institutions, selling at a cost-reflective tariff. For the avoidance of doubt the concession:

  • Does not include subsidy, nor implies any other support of government beyond consent and permission to deploy the pilot for a term of 20 years subject to conditions listed in the concession and general compliance with the Laws of Lesotho.
  • Provides for an exit for the mini-grid owners in the event of an interconnection with the grid operated by the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) or others mandated by the Government of Lesotho.

The MEM, through the Department of Energy (DOE), now invites interested and eligible proponents to submit technical and financial proposals for the development, financing, construction, operations, maintenance and service provision for a mini-grid pilot consisting of the following site:

Ha Makebe (GPS: Latitude -29.180002, Longitude 27.590002) in the Berea District

The minimum required services within the context of the pilot project include:

  1. Develop, build, own and operate the solar power plant, storage, back-up, distribution and metering infrastructure in accordance with the Lesotho Grid Code enacted by the Lesotho Electricity and Water Authority (LEWA) with the following minimum specifications:
  1. 213 PAYG metered connections
  2. 70 kW installed capacity of PV
  • 260 kWh battery storage
  1. 45 kW peak AC inverter capacity
  2. 98% design availability of mains electricity (220 V AC/50Hz)
  3. Less than 15% fossil fuel back-up generation
  4. Operationalize an Environmental and Social Management System that includes, at a minimum, monitoring and reporting of environmental, health and safety issues, a grievance mechanism for project affected persons, an emergency response plan, and any other requirements under the authority of the National Environmental Secretariat.
  5. Collaborate and share key performance indicators (KPIs) and learnings with MEM stakeholders including LEC, Lesotho Energy and Water Authority (LEWA), DOE and additional stakeholders such as the local community council and representatives of the National University of Lesotho. KPI’s to be agreed on between the developer and the institutions at the outset of the pilot.

Applicants must be an entity incorporated in Lesotho or a consortium with a member that is a Lesotho registered company. Applicants are to provide:

  1. A technical proposal for the design of the facilities including confirmation of the components to be used to meet the minimum specifications (listed above) and maps showing the draft layout of the distribution network.
  2. A financial model showing the financial structure, proposed tariff, capital and Operation & Maintenance costs, cash flows for the project demonstrating that the tariff is cost-reflective with a maximum project internal rate of return of 15%.
  3. Verification of financial capacity to invest in the project.
  4. Indication of capability and experience supporting that applicants are qualified to develop the facility.

Companies interested are requested to submit a proposal. The proposal should clearly be marked “Request for Proposal for Lesotho Solar Mini-grid Pilot Concession at Ha Makebe, Berea” as the subject matter. The deadline for submission of proposals is the 14th March 2019. The tender box will be closed on the same day at 10:00 a.m. local time. This will be followed by the opening of the submissions at 10.15a.m. Submissions should be deposited in the Tender Box located next to the security personnel chamber at the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology Headquarters, 2nd Floor Africa House South Wing, Cnr. Kingsway and High Court Road, Maseru, Lesotho.


By registered mail to the Procurement Unit in the indicated address below and clearly marked “Request for Proposal for Lesotho Solar Mini-grid Pilot Concession at Ha Makebe, Berea”

The Procurement Unit, Ministry of Energy and Meteorology

2nd Floor Africa House South Wing

Cnr. Kingsway and High Court Road, Maseru 100, Lesotho

E-mail, late and faxed applications will NOT be accepted (whether delayed by mail or other causes).

Please contact Ms. Mathakane Hokinyane at (+266)58057410 for administrative issues and Mr. Lengeta Mabea at (+266)63024889 for technical issues.

There will be a site visit on the 28th February 2019.

The suitable companies will be short-listed based on their submissions, and requests for presentations of proposals at MEM offices will only be issued to short-listed companies by 11th April 2019.

Following evaluation of short-listed companies, the MEM will select a recipient of the concession award by 18th April 2019.

Construction of the mini-grid pilot at Ha Makebe is to commence no later than 90 days following award of the concession and LEWA license.