Energy regulator to approve more than 1 MW licences without minister's approval

Aggeneys Solar Project, Northern Cape. Image supplied/ Warren Williams.
Aggeneys Solar Project, Northern Cape. Image supplied/ Warren Williams.

Individuals and companies who generate more than 1MW of power can now apply to produce their own electricity, without the ministerial approval.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) said on Friday that the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe has given it a go-ahead to process licence applications for self-generation facilities of above 1MW even if they are not in compliance with the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2019).

NERSA said Mantashe actually gave his approval on 1 February 2020.

"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," said the regulator in a statement on Friday.  

But to apply, the generating capacity that people or companies have must be connected to the national grid, except in certain circumstances where the electricity supply goes to a single customer.

However, NERSA said the applications it is permitted exclude those involving supply to local government, as these will be addressed separately.

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