South Africa’s only independent renewable power trader, PowerX, has applied to the national energy regulator, Nersa, to add six generators and 29 customers to its license.
According to PowerX CEO Thembani Bukula, this platform could be a model for an open electricity market in a post-Eskom era, MoneyWeb reported.
Through a licensed agreement with the national regulator the company has the ability to purchase clean and green power from generators and sell it on to consumers.
Formerly known as Amatola Green Power, MoneyWeb reported that the trader’s business model buys anything from as little as 100kW, be it rooftop solar, wind or hydro. It offers long-term contracts, which appeal to investors with CPI-linked annual increases.
In a video interview, Bukula said the firm is currently procuring power from Nelson Mandela Bay from 100kW combined rooftop units; one wind turbine; and certain hydro schemes.
On the 15 January 2014, the national regulator renewed and extended the company’s trading licence for 15 years creating certainty for the establishment of the industry.
The firm explained: “This means that we can sign as many PPAs as we can for whatever tenures within the parameters of our license conditions up until 2029 i.e. PPAs that are signed in 2029 will remain valid under the license for as long as the PPA term is in effect.”
Bukula explains that the trading license allows them to use existing infrastructure of Eskom or municipalities at a fee that is normally approved by the national regulator.
Currently the firm’s focus is in Nelson Mandela Bay, however it has recently concluded use-of-systems agreements with Umjindi Local Municipality based in Barberton and Mandeni Local Municipality near Durban among others.
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