The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) announced last week that it has commenced with the formal investigation on the complaint lodged by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) against state-owned power utility Eskom in October 2016.
According to a statement from the regulator: “SAWEA alleges that Eskom is in breach of its licence conditions regarding the delay or refusal to sign certain Power Purchase Agreements.”
NERSA investigation rollout
The Energy Regulator appointed the Regulator Member primarily responsible for electricity regulation to chair the formal investigation on 25 May 2017. The panel held its first investigation hearing with the two affected parties (Eskom and SAWEA) on Thursday, 14 September 2017. Read more…
The regulator noted that the scheduled hearing was postponed to 29 September 2017, after hearing both parties on the application for postponement brought by Eskom and continued on Friday last week.
“Eskom requested to be given sufficient time to prepare its submission. The Investigation Panel gave both parties five working days to file their submissions,” the energy regulator said.
The deadline for submission was close of business on 21 September 2017.
Although SAWEA had already filed its written submission with NERSA, it was able to amend or update the submission.
The process underway is an investigation in terms of section 32(2) of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act No. 4 of 2006) (‘the ERA’), NERSA explained. Read more…
“This process is different from the other processes of the Energy Regulator as it is a precursor to the Energy Regulator meeting where a report from this investigation would be tabled in terms of section 32(4) of the ERA.
“In this regard, the investigation hearing is confined to the two affected parties and is intended to allow them to make new or updated submissions to the panel as part of the formal investigation,” the regulator said.
The meeting of the Energy Regulator at which the report would be considered would be open to the public like any other meeting of the Energy Regulator.
In terms of section 32(5) of the ERA, the Energy Regulator may, depending on the findings, refer the report to a tribunal, which will in turn deal with it in terms of section 18(2) of the ERA.
The tribunal process may entail the adoption of the report by the tribunal and the issuing of a section 18(2) notice. The proceedings of the tribunal will be open to the public.
Featured image: NERSA