NERSA releases small-scale embedded energy guidelines for public comment

Submitted by: Nadia Shah, Wednesday, March 18, 2015

<p>The deadline for stakeholder comments is the 25<sup>th</sup> of March 2015 (Image Source: NERSA)</p>

The deadline for stakeholder comments is the 25th of March 2015 (Image Source: NERSA)

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has released a consultation paper outlining the regulatory rules for small-scale embedded energy generation (SSEG), for public comment. The purpose of the consultation paper is to explore the various tariff options for small-scale embedded generators with the aim of promoting and incentivising installations that are connected to the grid. The paper details the stakeholder consultation process, proposes a registration process as opposed to a licensing system, and, stipulates the reporting requirements for licensed distributers. In addition, the paper covers grid connection standards, inverter regulations, codes of practice on small-scale embedded generators and tariff design. Once approved, this document will replace the 2011 “Standard conditions for Small Scale (less than 100kW) Embedded Generation within Municipal Boundaries”.

Stakeholder consultation

As part of the stakeholder consultation process interested and affected parties are encouraged to submit written comments in response to the questions raised in the consultation paper. Comments may be hand delivered to Kulawula House, 526 Madiba Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, or submitted via email (embeddedgeneration@nersa.org.za) or post (PO Box 40343, Arcadia, 0083).

The comment period will close on the 25th of March 2015. Thereafter stakeholders will be given a second opportunity to provide feedback at a public hearing hosted by NERSA on the 10th of April 2015. All comments received will be taken into consideration during the decision making process. NERSA will announce its decision on the 22nd of May 2015 and the regulatory rules will be published on the NERSA website on the 30th of May 2015.

Registration

NERSA has proposed a registration process for small-scale embedded generators of below 1MW which shifts some of the administrative burden from NERSA onto licensed distributers. The consultation paper notes “…It is proposed that the embedded generator will submit an application to the licensed distributor, who will assess the status of its network to determine its technical capacity to accommodate the new generator. The licensed distributors will then be responsible for designing and maintaining the application forms to be used by prospective embedded generators,”. The licensed distributor will be expected to maintain a database of approved generators which will be submitted to NERSA for registration on a monthly basis. Embedded energy projects above 1MW will need to apply for a license directly from NERSA.

Tariffs

NERSA have proposed a  two-phase approach for the introduction of standardised tariff schemes for SSEG’s. During the first phase the consultation will focus on the regulatory rules for a modified net-metering scheme with different tariffs for exporting and importing energy to and from the grid. According to the NERSA consultation paper, “Such a net-metering (or net-billing) scheme could be implemented in the short term, within the responsibilities of the individual distributors.” The second phase of consultation will focus on more complex structures such as compensation schemes for municipalities, subsidies, levies and taxes.

To view NERSA’s Consultation Paper on Small-Scale Embedded Generation, please download the attachment.

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