The National Energy Regulator (NERSA) has been inundated with a number of queries from various stakeholders seeking clarity on the Minister of Energy’s letter approving deviation from the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010-2030.

NERSA hereby confirms that it has received a letter from the Minister of Energy on 2 May 2019, granting a deviation from the existing IRP 2010-2030 for licensing of operation for generation facilities ranging above 1MW to 10MW.

It is important to clarify that the Minister did not direct NERSA to automatically approve licence applications for the operation of small-scale generation facilities without following due process. Read more: SA Energy Minister’s decision on SSEG will drive investment, says SAPVIA

This clarifies various interpretations given by stakeholders that NERSA is directed to licence these facilities immediately without delay. In terms of section 10(2)(g) of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act No. 4 of 2006), the Minister has powers to approve deviation from compliance with the Integrated Resource Plan, and with this letter, the Minister exercised these powers.

To give effect to this deviation, NERSA will follow due process, and adhere to the legal prescripts in evaluating all licence applications as well as registration applications for small-scale embedded generation, as contemplated in section 10 of the National Energy Regulator Act, 2004 (Act No. 40 of 2004), read with the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (Act No. 3 of 2000) and the Electricity Regulation Act of 2006.

Applications received for facilities up to 1MW will go through the NERSA-approved registration procedure and will require the payment of the prescribed registration fee.

In this regard, applicants are expected to comply with the relevant/applicable pieces of legislation by providing relevant and sufficient information. This will enable the Energy Regulator to conduct a thorough and efficient evaluation of the applications.

NERSA is planning to conduct a stakeholder workshop in order to provide clarity on its processes and information required to evaluate these applications on time. The date of the workshop will be communicated in due course.