South Africa moves forward with 2 GW tech-neutral procurement


The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) said this week that it has started soliciting feedback on a mid-December proposal by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE)  to procure between 2 GW and 3 GW of power generation capacity for the 2020-22 period.

In second tweet on Thursday, NERSA said that the public can now comment on a plan to procure power from a mix of resources in the short to medium term under South Africa’s new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

“NERSA estimates public consultation and concurrence process will take four to six months, so additional procurement from Round 5 of the REIPPPP for example, wouldn’t start until afterwards,” Ahlfeldt stated. “With ongoing load-shedding, I expected the government to move faster to implement IRP 2019, but at least the process has started.”

The IRP aims for up to 6 GW of new large-scale solar by 2030, as well as an additional 6 GW of distributed-generation capacity.

Meanwhile, the country’s troubled power utility, Eskom, issued a statement on Thursday to report on continuous load-shedding. “No load-shedding is expected tomorrow, but the possibility of load-shedding remains,” the company warned, while adding that the country’s power systems remains vulnerable and constrained.

Load-shedding occurs when Eskom reduces power supply because demand on the network is too much for it to handle.