LESOTHO, RENEWABLE ENERGY GRID INTEGRATION STUDIES PROJECT

LESOTHO, RENEWABLE ENERGY GRID INTEGRATION STUDIES PROJECT

Maseru, February 14th, 2022,

In January GESTO reached the final stages of development of the Renewable Energy Grid Integration Studies (REGIS) for the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC). This was achieved with the submission of the project’s Final Report and the conduction of Capacity Building sessions plus the Stakeholder Workshop.

The final activity will be the support on the acquisition of a software for network analysis and training of LEC engineers.

The project development has been significantly affected by the pandemic situation in terms of delays and country presence. In fact, the study started with a first in-country mission late 2019, followed by another mission early 2020, just before the first international travel restrictions.

The objective of the REGIS study was to assess the impacts on the transmission and distribution networks of LEC of variable renewable energy generation and to establish the level of absorption, both quantitatively and in relative terms of such intermittent renewable energy generation in the LEC power system in the medium to long-term.

LEC is the public utility responsible for transmission, distribution, and supply of nearly all electricity consumed in the country, as well as the development of the power system. The national power grid comprises transmission voltages at 132 KV, 88 KV and 66 KV, and sub-transmission at 33 KV, and distribution voltages at 11KV and 220 Volts. With 74 MW of installed hydropower plant generating capacity, and peak demand of about 180 MW, Lesotho imports over 50% of its electricity requirements, predominantly, from South Africa, and Mozambique to meet demand. The Lesotho power system is integrated into the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP), through the interconnections with the Eskom South Africa power system.