The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has been granted permission to process licence applications for self-generation facilities of above 1 MW, even if they are not in compliance with the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019).
This approval, which was granted by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on February 1 this year, 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 approval granted is applicable to generation facilities that are 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.
Approval may also be granted to 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 excludes those that involve local government – provinces or municipalities – or supply to local government, as these will be addressed separately.