The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has announced that the long awaited regulatory framework for small-scale embedded generation will not be finalised this year as initially anticipated.
It reports that the rules will now only be finalised after the Department of Energy (DoE) completes new licensing regulations for all generation facilities.
The DoE is reportedly in the process of drafting the regulations in line with the Electricity Regulation Act and has initiated consultations on the proposed rules with Nersa and other stakeholders.
Earlier in the year, Nersa held public hearings into the future regulatory environment for enabling small-scale generators, such as rooftop solar facilities, to feed surplus electricity into the grid.
Various local governments and developers made input at the hearings. Municipalities, in particular, made a strong appeal for rules to balance the financial sustainability concerns of distributors with the creation of a supportive investment environment for embedded generation.
A number of rooftop solar systems have already been deployed, but besides a pilot feed-in tariff in Cape Town, investors have typically restricted the applications for use by the host facility.
Nersa’s Moefi Moroeng tells Engineering News Online that the regulator has delivered proposed rules to the DoE for concurrence. But the department has since indicated that it will include rules for the licensing of embedded generators in overarching regulations that are currently still being drafted.
Moroeng says he is unable to provide insight into when the Licensing Regulations will be Gazetted, saying only the DoE has indicated that it hopes to finalise the regulations early in 2016.