16 private power projects get green light in South Africa

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has approved 16 private power generation projects to provide electricity for personal and commercial use.

The approvals come after a meeting of Nersa’s executive committee on Monday, 6 June 2022.

It said the committee approved issuing registration certificates to the 16 projects per the Licensing Exemption and Registration Notice No. 45266 of 5 October 2021. 

That exemption, first announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in June 2021, allows private individuals and businesses to build their own generation up to 100MW without a licence from Nersa.

It is still subject to registration with the regulator, however.

The approved projects include 11 facilities generating electricity for their own use and five producing electricity for commercial purposes.

15 out of the 16 projects will employ solar PV panels, while one will use wind turbines.

When combined, the maximum capacity of all the projects will be 211MW.

The projects with the largest capacity are an 80MW solar farm from Lephalale Solar and the Msenge Emoyeni Wind Farm with a 72W capacity.

The latter forms part of the second phase of the 134MW Amakhala Emoyeni project near Bedford in the Eastern Cape, which began commercial operations in 2016.

It is one of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) currently providing electricity to Eskom.

Amakhala Emoyeni Wind Farm near Bedford in the Eastern Cape

Nersa said all applications had received connection approvals from licenced electricity distributors.

Twelve projects will be connected directly to Eskom and four to municipal networks.

The regulator added that all the applications were received during April 2022 and processed within 19 working days.

It also said that during the first quarter of 2022, it had issued registration certificates to 54 facilities with a combined capacity of 29.148MW, worth roughly R452 million.

Nersa said it had approved 216 registration applications since the government first lifted the threshold from 1MW to 100MW.

The table below shows the 16 projects that were most recently issued with registration certificates from Nersa.

Name of applicant Capacity (MW) Technology Grid connection
Generation facilities for own use
Emling Properties (Pty) Ltd 0.220 Solar PV City of Ekurhuleni Municipality
Vega Instruments SA (Pty) Ltd 0.150 Solar PV Eskom
Donaventa Holdings (Pty) Ltd t/a Dixon Batteries (Pty) Ltd 1 Solar PV Emfuleni Local Municipality
Fairvest Property Holdings Ltd and the Axis Group 0.226 Solar PV Eskom
Fairvest Property Holdings Ltd and the Axis Group” 0.320 Solar PV Eskom
Bo-Karoo Boerdery Trust 0.108 Solar PV Eskom
Capital Propfund (Pty) Ltd 0.130 Solar PV City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality
Die Afrikaanse Taal-en Kultuurverening NPC 0.3 Solar PV Eskom
K2012150042 (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd 0.6 Solar PV City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality
Limberlost (Pty) Ltd 0.350 Solar PV Eskom
Omnia Group (Pty) Ltd 5 Solar PV Eskom
Generation facilities for commercial purposes
Lephalale Solar (Pty) Ltd 80 Solar PV Eskom
Terradew Three (Pty) Ltd 0.770 Solar PV Eskom
Richtersveld Sunspot (Pty) Ltd 40 Solar PV Eskom
Sturdee Energy (Pty) Ltd 10 Solar PV Eskom
Msenge Emoyeni Wind Farm (Pty) Ltd 72 Wind Eskom

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16 private power projects get green light in South Africa