Printed in December 2016, When the amended Electrical energy Regulation Act (ERA) comes into pressure, it can regulate the use of small scale electricity generators by requiring registration with the Nationwide Power Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).
That is according to Lizel Oberholzer and Jarrett Whitehead, attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright, who say that the regulation will doubtless have far-reaching effects, as non-public use of small scale Solar Generator Costco has elevated dramatically in South Africa.
“It has been reported that personal electricity generation from Solar Generator Costco alone has elevated from 35MW in 2015 to 159MW in 2016,” mentioned Norton Rose Fulbright.
“Before parliament, the Department of Power expressed concern with the loss of income that municipalities and Eskom are experiencing because of elevated non-public generation of energy. These considerations had been echoed by Nersa, which supported the presentation.”
In December 2016, the “Draft Licensing Exemption and Registration Notice” expresses the minister of vitality’s intention to exempt varied classes of generation amenities and electrical resellers from the requirement to hold a licence beneath the ERA.
Under these laws, as a substitute of requiring a licence, listed actions will need to be registered with Nersa.
At present any generation plant operated for demonstration or for ‘personal use’, which isn't connected to the grid, is excluded from the licensing necessities beneath the ERA.
“The notice offers that listed generation actions, including these beforehand exempt from licensing necessities, should be registered with Nersa,” mentioned Norton Rose Fulbright.
“Listed actions include the operation of generation amenities with an put in capability of less than 1MW (both connected and unconnected to the grid) and generation amenities for demonstration purposes and for purposes of standby or back-up electricity in the occasion of provide interruption (regardless of generation capability).”
“In observe, this is able to imply that each house, farm, resort, hospital and shopping center with photo voltaic panels or diesel generators (whether or not connected to the grid or not) with a capability of less that 1MW must register with Nersa.”
Though the ERA offers that registration with Nersa should be executed on the prescribed application form and should be accompanied by a registration price, corresponding laws prescribing the requirements have yet to be published.
The act also empowers Nersa to refuse purposes for registration beneath sure circumstances, including where an application is “opposite to the objectives of the Act”.
Non-compliance with any provision of the act is a prison offence which is punishable by a high-quality of as much as R5 million and imprisonment for as much as 5 years.
“We do not know what preparations might be supplied to accommodate present off-grid electricity customers, however it is hoped that such provisions will allow all affected events to register and keep away from penalties,” mentioned Norton Rose Fulbright.
“While the full implications of the proposed modification will solely become clear once candidates start attempting to register with Nersa, if managed poorly, the Department of Power’s try to regain some control of off-grid vitality generation might severely impression many people.”
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