11 August 2011

South Africa: NERSA Agrees With Energy Dept Over IPPs

Photo: Warrenski/Flickr
Investment in renewable energy will provide job opportunities, especially for those in rural areas where renewable power plants are located.

Pretoria — The South African National Energy Regulator (Nersa) is in agreement with Energy Minister Dipuo Peters regarding the Independent Power Producer (IPP) procurement programme.

This comes after the department announced it will stop the renewable energy feed in tariff (REFIT), which was meant to attract investors (independent renewable energy producers) to new power generation going into the future.

The department will now go for a bidding process, where it will look for proposals on new generation capacity.

The department invites interested parties to submit proposals for the finance, construction, operation and maintenance of renewable energy generation.

The process will involve the submission of bids.

On Wednesday, Nersa said the department's plans need to be aligned with the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and power parastatal Eskom's Multi-Year Price Determination (from April 2010 to 31 March 2013). The IRP addresses South Africa's electricity generation mix for the next 20 years.

The department wants to procure 3 725 megawatts and is working towards socio-economic and environmentally sustainable growth. It also seeks to start and stimulate the renewable energy industry in the country.

Among the allocated capacity across renewable technologies, 1850 megawatts will be procured from onshore wind energy, and a further 1450 megawatts is set for generation in the solar photovoltaic segment.

"The Energy Regulator will continue to execute its mandate in line with the New Generation Regulations issued on 4 May 2011 and the Electricity Regulation Act," the regulator's member primarily responsible for electricity, Thembani Bukula, said.

The department is scheduled to hold a mandatory bidders' briefing session on 14 September.

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