Relaxing of licencing requirements for IPP generators a win for SA - SAIPPA

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday that Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act would be changed to allow providers to generate more power without having to go through a long-drawn-out licencing process.

FILE: Wind turbines being installed on the Kangnas wind farm near Springbok in the Northern Cape. Picture: kangnaswind.co.za

CAPE TOWN - The South African Independent Power Producers Association (SAIPPA) has characterised a decision to relax licencing requirements for IPP generators as a big win for the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday that Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act would be changed to allow providers to generate more power without having to go through a long-drawn-out licencing process.

The announcement came after a bitter week of heightened power cuts and on the eve of Ramaphosa's trip to the G7 conference.

READ: Ramaphosa eases red tape for independent power providers to generate power

SAIPPA said that members had been lobbying for a change to the legislation for the past four years.

SAIPPA chairperson, Dave Long, said that they were asking for a cap of at least 50 megawatts. In the event, they got more than they wanted.

"The draft amendments contained a cap of 10MW, which we thought was woefully inadequate and so we were very pleasantly surprised that the president saw fit to make it 100MW."

The amendment will allow larger-scale power producers to generate up to 100MW and eventually even sell excess power back into the grid.

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Long said that relaxing the requirements to get a licence from the energy regulator would remove an enormous amount of red tape and allow producers to come online more quickly.

"Nersa by law are not allowed to approve a licence unless the generation that you have in mind is contained within the integrated resource plan. Historically, it has been particularly difficult to get around that hurdle and the way to get around it is to get the minister to approve a deviation."

Addressing the media on Thursday, the president said that they already had a number of interested parties and he was hoping that this change would encourage more producers to invest to meet their own requirements and reduce the burden on Eskom.

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