Energy News — 08 July 2013

The Nelson Mandala Bay Metro (NMBM) have prepared an interim “guideline document” for net metering or small scale embedded electricity generation (<100kW) until such time as the National standards for country wide roll out for net metering are established.

The National Energy Regulator of SA (NERSA), have on 22nd September 2011 approved the standard conditions for small scale embedded generation within Municipal Boundaries.  This official decision document, considered under the Energy Regulator Act 204 (Act No 40 of 2004) serves as the “enabling” document, which makes way for local Municipalities to capitalize on the use of “green energy” and sets out the conditions for a Municipality to follow.

The Nelson Mandela Metro is one of the first Municipalities to take on board these conditions and issue an interim guiding document.

Since 2008, there has been considerable interest in installing this kind of generation by consumers, which has since been boosted by the ever growing availability of numerous renewable energy options, with declining costs, and a worldwide trend in this field.  At least until 2015 ESKOM will be challenged to meet demand so also has an interest in this small scale generation to work as every bit of generation will assist.

This will also be in support of President Zuma’s commitment made in Copenhagen to reduce South Africa’s carbon footprint by 34% by 2020 and a further 42% by 2025 from the current 1990 levels as more renewable energy is generated and less from coal.

Net metering makes way for small -scale generators to be rewarded for energy that they produce.  Under the NERSA decision management of these potentially numerous small scale generators, will fall to the Metros who will be required to keep a database on the technology, users, and generation capacity.

The lowest cost metering solution would be where power exports are allowed to reverse the meter reading.   Municipalities have in this case the responsibility of identifying acceptable metering solutions, which the NMBM have done.

In the guiding document the Metro will own, install and maintain the specified meter and modem with data being made available to the client on the NMBMs website.

The customer will be required to pay 50% of the cost of the metering equipment and will not be rewarded financially if more energy is generated than consumed by a customer.  An administrative fee is all the customer would pay to the NMBM in that case –e.g. if 500 kWh came from the Municipal supply and 1450kWh was generated by the customer the extra 950 kWh’s would not result in the Metro paying the customer for the excess generated.  The customer would merely pay the administration fee – estimated to be between R200 – R 400.

The Municipality have also set out as required by NERSA the billing period which for the Nelson Mandela bay will be monthly and based on an averaged for all hours of the month.

To find out more about the approval of Small Scale Embedded Generation attend the breakfast meeting on Thursday 11th July from 8:00 – 10:30 in Port Elizabeth by Peter J Neilson, Directory of Projects at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

Email – functions@nmbbusinesschamber.co.za

The event is sponsored by KESTREL renewable energy.

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