Thanks to President Ramaphosa’s recent announcement that the license exemption threshold for self-generation energy plants will be raised from 1 MW to 100 MW – effectively lifting the required licensing with the energy regulator NERSA – South Africa’s energy crisis finally sees a light (if you’ll pardon the pun) at the end of the tunnel.
“Following an extensive public consultation process, and discussions within our own ranks in government and the minister of Mineral Resources and Energy – and also a significant amount of technical work undertaken by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. We will be amending Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act to increase the NERSA licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1MW to 100MW,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Generators will also be allowed to wheel electricity through the transmission grid, subject to wheeling charges and connection agreements with Eskom and relevant municipalities. However, generation projects will still need to obtain permits – a grid connection permit, to ensure that they meet all the requirements for grid compliance. This will ensure that we are able to bring online as much new (power) capacity as possible without compromising the integrity and stability of our energy system,” added Ramaphosa.
More power to the people
The exception is sure to unlock more power from private entities, and ease the load on the worn-out state power utility, Eskom, mitigating the economic challenges associated with Eskom’s rolling blackouts.
According to South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), large companies, mines and farms have 5 000MW in pending projects, which can now be released due to the licensing requirements being lifted. “Renewable energy project developers have got a number of projects that have gone through all development phase permitting requirements and are shovel-ready, so we can confidently say there is sufficient capacity in the industry to meet demand from intensive energy users,” says Ntombifuthi Ntuli, CEO of SAWEA.
Quietly keeping the renewable energy wheels turning in South Africa
This is good news for South Africa. Even better news for sustainable, renewable energy providers who have been passionately committed to seeing cleaner power in our nation.
“We are delighted that the government is showing its commitment to supporting sustainable power in South Africa,” says George Epenetos, Director of Cape Armature Winders (CAW). “We know what it takes behind the scenes to keep these renewable energy generators going, and we’re committed to the third party entities who are doing what it takes to keep the lights on in South Africa.”
This means no interruption in power generation, and no more load shedding, no matter who’s providing the power!
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