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Eskom welcomes judgment on new grid rules

Eskom wants to build new transmission lines in the next few years. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Eskom wants to build new transmission lines in the next few years. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 1, 2023


Eskom has welcomed judgment by the court that dismissed an application by a renewable energy company aimed at preventing the power utility from implementing grid rules.

The power utility started implementing the new grid rules after it emerged some of the companies were hogging the grid.

This prevented companies whose projects were ready to be connected to the grid.

Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa had warned that if the application by the renewable company was granted by the High Court it could delay projects already in the pipeline.

South Africa was trying to get as many projects connected to the grid as possible to ease loadshedding.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday they expected about 10 000MW of new generation capacity will be connected to the grid by the end of the year.

Renewable company, G7 Renewable Energies, went to the South Gauteng High Court to stop Eskom from enforcing the grid rules.

But Eskom said the High Court was correct in its decision to stop the interdict by the renewable company.

“On 17 2023, G7 Renewable Energies applied to the court to interdict Eskom from implementing and giving effect to and enforcing the rules. G7 also requested the court to direct Eskom to apply the ‘first come, first served approach’ for all pending applications for grid applications. Eskom restated that the allocation of the grid on the first-come first-served basis resulted in the limited grid access being allocated to projects that were not ready to utilise capacity, thereby preventing the allocation of the grid to projects that are ready. Public procurement programmes, including Bid Window 6 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, were impacted by the hogging of the grid by projects that were not ready. To this effect Eskom introduced the principle of ‘first ready, first served’ which will enable allocation of capacity to projects based on a demonstrated readiness of the project to build the generation facility and related grid infrastructure to connect to the grid. Eskom implemented these rules from 27 June 2023, following a consultative process,” said Eskom.

Ramokgopa had said they need to expand the grid by 14 000km in the next 10 years.

This would require an investment of R210 billion.

This would be done with the private sector as Eskom does not have the finances to do it.

But grid expansion was key to solving the energy crisis.

The sooner they get projects connected to the grid the better, said Ramokgopa recently.

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