Energy regulator registers 124 generation projects totalling 605MW capacity in South Africa

  •  The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has announced that it registered 124 generation facilities during the third quarter (October to December) of the 2023/24 Financial Year.
  • The total capacity of the 124 generation facilities is 605MW, with a total investment value of R7.8 billion.
  • Since the inception of the registration regime in 2018, NERSA has registered a total of 1087 generation facilities.

Table 1 below provides the details of the registered facilities and their locations.

Credit: NERSA

The number of generation facilities registered for commercial purposes is 3 of the 124, with a capacity of 77MW and an investment cost of R1733 million. It is important to note that NERSA processed all the above applications within an average of seven working days.

The technological composition of the 124 registered generation facilities consists of solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar PV with Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). During the third quarter, solar PV generation technology was the most favoured technology, with 122 generation being facilities registered, with a total capacity of 604 MW and an investment cost of R7753 million. BESS technology has not reached maturity within the South African Electricity Supply Industry, with only two generation facilities, with a total capacity of 1MW and investment value of R4 million, being registered during the third quarter. This can be attributed to financial implications, and the culture that BESS technology is considered new within the market.

NERSA is concerned about the high number of registered facilities that are not coupled with storage, as they further deepen the ‘California Duck Curve’. The Regulator Member responsible for electricity regulation at NERSA, Mr Nhlanhla Gumede, emphasised the critical need for registration applications for generation facilities of variable energy sources to be coupled with battery storage.

The new generation facilities and their total capacity per province are provided in Table 2 below. The top three provinces with the highest number of new registered generation facilities are the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the Eastern Cape. However, in terms of installed capacity and investment value, the top three provinces are North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

Credit: NERSA

The North West Province has generated the highest investment cost for the third quarter, at R3.5 billion, with an installed capacity of 372MW. This can be attributed to the mining activities within the province.

Regarding the energy exported through the national grid, 86 generation facilities are connected to the Eskom network and generate a total of 568MW, with a total investment cost of R7.2 billion. A total of 38 generation facilities are connected to the municipal distribution network and generate a total of 37MW, with an investment cost of R500 million. The average investment cost for the third quarter of the 2023/24 FY is R12 817/kW.

The detailed list of the 124 new registered generation facilities is available on the NERSA website at www.nersa.org.za under ‘Electricity>Registration>Registered entities’.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

Source: NERSA

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