Eskom could start getting private power by July

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The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has taken a vital step toward allowing the government to procure emergency power and to allow the building of more privately owned power plants.

The regulator issued public consultation papers after the energy minister allowed the procurement of 2,000 megawatts of emergency capacity as soon as possible and the construction of 6,800 megawatts of capacity from longer-term renewable power plants.

The longer term plan is in line with a government energy framework that includes additional generation capacity in the form of non-renewable power. South Africa is in urgent need of more electricity to end recurrent outages.

As soon as the process is finished by the regulator, procurement of new capacity can begin, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Deputy Director-General Jacob Mbele said earlier this month.

The deadline for public comment on the framework for the procurement of emergency power is April 14 2020 and the process will be completed in three months.

The deadline for the longer term plants, which encompass a range of technologies from wind to battery storage and coal, will close May 7 2020 and the process will be finalised after about six months, the documents stated.

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