On Tuesday, ESI-Africa reported that Eskom had suspended the issuing of budget quotes to IPPs until March 2018, citing financial constraints.
The state-owned utility made an application to the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) requesting an exemption from the obligation to issue budget quotes to preffered bidders for the renewable IPP programme.
The quotes are for the cost of infrastructure needed to connect to the grid.
Next month Nersa will hold a meeting whereby the regulator is expected to re-confirm its decision to reject Eskom’s request.
Nersa chairperson Jacob Modise regarded the application as “cheeky”, comparing it to blackmail, reports Moneyweb.
Modise noted that Eskom has to abide by its licence conditions which include the requirement that it issues budget quotes within the prescribed timeline.
He explained that the government could not endorse renewable development and then approve Eskom’s decision.
If Eskom’s decision had been approved, 26 preferred bidders could have been compromised, which are estimated to represent a total capacity of 2 205MW and an investment commitment of almost R50 billion.
These preferred bidders were announced in round four of the procurement process.
Next step for Eskom
Andrew Etzinger, senior GM at Eskom, emphasised that the only way forward for the state-owned utility, was to prioritise the plans for connecting renewable energy generation sources to its transmission grid.
In an address to delegates at a conference this week, he highlighted that the contribution from renewable energy producers and the first unit at Medupi, as well as better perfomance from the power stations, are the reasons there has not been load shedding in the past two months.
Etzinger invited interested parties to attend the utility’s open Transmission Development Plan Forum that will be taking place today (Friday 16 October).