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Is this Department of Energy draft the first sign of feed in tariffs?

The Department of Energy this month published a draft amendment to the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 and, looking at the document, there appears to be some good news on the horizon.

The document seeks to amend Schedule 2 of the Act which outlines which parties are exempt from applying for and holding a licence to distribute electricity. In it’s current form Schedule two is comprised of three bullet points.

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  1. Any generation plant constructed and operated for demonstration purposes only and not connected to an inter connected power supply
  2. Any generation plant constructed and operated for own use
  3. Non-grid connected supply of electricity except for commercial use

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The amendments expand on those three points a lot, in fact the draft in its current form is four pages long and at if I’m reading it correctly it looks like the Department of Energy will allow any legal person generating 1MW of electricity or less to feed that power into the grid and sell it to Eskom to do so without acquiring a license.

1. The following activities are exempt from the requirement to apply for and hold a licence under the Act:

1.1 The operation of a generation facility with an installed capacity of no more than 1MW which is connected to the national grid, in circumstances in which the
facility is installed and connected on the consumer side of the electricity meter and serves a single consumer located on that side of the electricity meter;
1.1.2 the generator has entered into a connection agreement with, or obtained approval from, the holder of the relevant distribution licence, which agreement or approval authorises the supply of electricity into the national grid if the facility engages in such supply; and
1.1.3 as at the date on which the connection agreement is entered into or the approval is obtained, the Minister has not published a notice in the Gazette stating that the amount of megawatts (MW) allocated in the integrated resource plan for embedded generation of this nature has been reached.

In the interest of full disclosure we have attempted to get comment on this draft on numerous occasions but this being December everybody is enjoying their holiday.

The draft is open for public comment right now and will be for 30 days from the date the amendment was published which is 31st December given the amendment was published on 2nd December.

Comments can be submitted in writing to Department of Energy, Private Bag X96, Pretoria 0001; Matimba House 192 Visagie Street, Pretoria.

If you prefer sending an email you can send one along to joseph.maraba@energy.gov.za and mark your email for the attention of Chief Director: Electricity Policy.

We’re interested to hear from readers with a legal mind about what this draft could mean and if we’ve read it entirely wrong. For that reason you can read the draft amendment below. Leave your comments in below if you happen to spot something we haven’t.

[Image – Pixabay]

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