Generation projects up to 100MW exempt from Nersa licensing requirement

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During a week with wall-to-wall loadshedding, South Africans are fed up and it appears as if government is either cognisant of this irritation or today is one big coincidence.

We’re talking about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement earlier today as regards Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act.

This act will be amended to increase the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1MW to 100MW.

“The amended regulations will exempt generation projects up to 100 MW in size from the Nersa licensing requirement, whether or not they are connected to the grid. This will remove a significant obstacle to investment in embedded generation projects,” Ramaphosa said.

Should a generation project wish to connect to the grid, they will however still need to obtain a grid connection permit as well as register with Nersa to verify that the connection won’t compromise the grid.

So when is this going to happen and when will we start to see embedded generation added to the grid? Not any time soon is the short answer.

“The final version of the amendment to Schedule 2 will be published by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy within the next 60 days or sooner,” said Ramaphosa.

While municipalities will be able to approve connections in their networks, these approvals can’t happen before an Environment Impact Assessment is done and “all other requirements of existing legislation” have been met.

This is a rather big turnaround from government and Nersa which just three years ago proposed that anybody generating 1MW of power would have to register with Nersa.

Today’s announcement is good news on the surface but we are biting our tongue until we see the amendments to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act.

Does this mean the end of loadshedding? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

[Image – CC BY SA 2.0 tablexxnx]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.