- The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), has confirmed that the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy has approved that NERSA may process licence applications for self-generation facilities of above 1MW even if they are not in compliance with the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2019).
- The approval means that prospective applicants are no longer required to obtain Ministerial approval for deviation from the IRP 2019 before applying to NERSA for a licence.
- The Minister has granted the approval in accordance with section 10(2)(g) of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act No. 4 of 2006).
The approval granted relates to generation facilities that fall into the following categories:
- a generation facility that is connected to the national grid, in circumstances in which the generation facility supplies electricity to a single customer and there is no wheeling of that electricity through the national grid; and/or
- a generation facility that is connected to the national grid, in circumstances in which the generation facility is operated solely to supply a single customer or related customers by transporting electricity through the national grid where wheeling arrangements are in place between all affected parties.
However, the approval by the Minister in the above generation facility categories exclude those that involve local government (provinces and municipalities) or supply to local government, as these will be addressed separately.
Editors note: there is one catch here. The corporate entity wishing to produce or purchase power from a independent power producer, needs permission from Eskom to do so. This letter of consent requirement is specified in the NERSA generation license application form for projects between 1MW and 10MW, and needs to be submitted by the IPP when applying for a generation license for a project. This letter is often not readily forthcoming from Eskom.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal