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Agri SA pressures NERSA to register SSEG projects

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Agri SA is concerned by NERSA’s reluctance to register SSEG projects. Agri SA’s members has the potential to supply the electricity needed to prevent future load shedding through small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) installations (less than 1 MW), referred to as small-scale embedded generators (SSEGs), says the organisation in a media release.

“It is unacceptable that farmers who want to do their part to relieve strain on the grid are not allowed to do so,” said Nicol Jansen, Agri SA Chairman of the Economics and Trade Centre of Excellence.

According to the Licensing Exemption and Registration Notice that was gazetted on 10 November 2017, SSEGs are exempt from licensing but are required to be registered with NERSA. However, by failing to register SSEGs, NERSA is preventing completed SSEG projects to be connected to the grid.  Non-registration has been the status quo, despite the following:

  • NERSA approving a registration process at an Energy Regulator (ER) meeting on 3 October 2018.
  • NERSA approving a registration fee of R200 at an ER meeting on 1 March 2019.
  • The Registration Process and Internal Procedure for Registration of SSEGs was published on NERSA’s website on 19 March 2019.
  • On 26 March 2019 NERSA issued e-mails confirming the reference number and account into which the registration fee should be paid.
  • The electricity subcommittee (ELS) approved 17 projects for registration on 10 April 2019: NERSA should have issued the registration letters as per their process.
  • The ELS subsequently decided to deviate from the approved process and recommended these 17 applications to the ER meeting for final approval.
  • For some unknown reason, the registration of SSEGs was not placed on the agenda of the ER meeting of 29 April 2019, resulting in yet another delay.
  • The facilities have not been registered by NERSA, even though the registration fees were paid.

For this reason, Agri SA is compelled to explore further options to exert pressure on NERSA to perform its mandate and register SSEG projects that meet the registration requirements. This will include the possibility of pursuing legal remedies.

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