National Energy Regulator
23 May 2019
The National Energy Regulator (NERSA) has confirmed, in a statement, that it received a letter from the energy minister on 2 May 2019 granting deviation from the existing IRP 2010-2030 for licensing of operation for generation facilities ranging above 1MW to 10MW.
NERSA pointed out that the energy minister, Jeff Radebe, did not direct NERSA to automatically approve licence applications for operation of small-scale generation facilities without following due process.
According to NERSA, the minister has, in terms of section 10(2)(g) of the Electricity Regulation Act of 2006, “powers to approve deviation from compliance with the Integrated Resource Plan, and with this letter, the Minister exercised these powers”.
NERSA vowed to “follow due process, and adhere to the legal prescripts in evaluating all licence applications as well as registration applications for small-scale embedded generation, as contemplated in section 10 of the National Energy Regulator Act, 2004 (Act No. 40 of 2004), read with the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (Act No. 3 of 2000) and the Electricity Regulation Act of 2006”.
Applications for generation facilities up to 1MW will be subjected to the NERSA-approved registration procedure and the prescribed registration fee will need to be paid.
NERSA recently sought comment on a Draft Licensing Exemption and Registration Notice.
The draft notice introduced upper and lower thresholds for generation facilities that should register or be exempted from registering with NERSA, determined that stand-by generators and co-generation facilities should not register with NERSA and that electricity resellers are required to enter into a service level agreement with a licensed distributor to be able to supply electricity to any customer within a supply area of the distributor.
The draft updated IRP was published for comment in August 2018 and is currently with NEDLAC for review.
Once NEDLAC has completed its work, the draft IRP will be tabled before cabinet for approval.
A stakeholder workshop is in the pipeline to provide clarity on the processes and the information required to evaluate applications timeously.
The date of the workshop will be communicated in due course.
The registration procedure for small-scale embedded generators and the application form for generation licence facilities above 1MW up to 10MW can be accessed at www.nersa.org.za.
The letter is not available at this stage.