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By Jarryd Westerdale

Digital Journalist

R18.4 billion worth of private infrastructure registered with NERSA in 2024 so far

The Western Cape province was the leader in investment and added capacity with Gauteng having the highest number of new projects

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has released the new registration stats for the first three months of 2024.

105 new projects, coming with a collective investment cost of R18.4 billion, have been registered with Nersa by Independent Power Producers (IPP) this year.

The generation capacity of the new facilities totals 788MW, with 77 of those projects adding 664MW to Eskom’s network.

The remainder of the new private generation facilities are connected to their respective municipal distribution networks and generate 124MW, collectively.

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Leading the way in investment and generation capacity is the Western Cape with an added capacity of 213MW coming at R7.2 billion.

Gauteng had the highest number of new facilities, with 24, just ahead of the Western Cape with 22.

This signals a solid start to the year for IPPs after registering 811 new facilities across 2022 and 2023.

“It is important to note that Nersa processed all the above applications within an average of nine working days. The average investment cost for the fourth quarter of the 2023/24 financial year is R23 374 per kW,” stated Nersa spokesperson Charles Hlebela.

Solar PV most favoured composition

Solar photovoltaic (PV), most recognisable for its use of solar panels, was the most common type of configuration. It was the system of choice for 99 of the 105 new registrations.

The other six used solar PV with Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), as well as gas and wind turbine systems.

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BESS is still a relatively new technology in the South African market, but Nersa expressed concern over the number of new projects that were not coupled with battery storage.

Nersa Regulator Member Nhlanhla Gumede stressed the need for future IPP generation facilities to be coupled with battery storage.

The energy regulator began its IPP registration programme in 2018 and has since documented 1 415 projects with a collective generation capacity of 7 158MW.

Newly registered entities include manufacturers, farms and homeowners associations, among others.

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