DoE says there will be no grid separation ‘big bang’

South Africa’s Department of Energy plans to introduce legislation for the establishment of an Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) in the electricity environment during the upcoming Parlia- mentary cycle and expects that the Act will be promulgated by the end of 2011.

Speaking at an energy round table last week, deputy director-general for electricity, nuclear and clean energy Ompi Aphane indicated that lawmakers should have sight of the ISMO Establishment Act by June.

However, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said that the ISMO would seek to “level the playing field and eliminate conflict of interest between the buyer and the seller of electricity”.

But she also stressed that the legislation would incorporate a phased deployment model, adding that there would be no “big bang”. In other words, the Act is likely to outline various stages of independence, beginning with an entity ring-fenced within State-owned power utility Eskom.