FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
The 6 MER candidate municipalities are:
- Drakenstein Municipality
- Mossel Bay Municipality
- Overstrand Municipality
- Saldanha Bay Municipality
- Stellenbosch Municipality
- Swartland Municipality
The initiative will also collaborate closely with the City of Cape Town.
To identify the participating candidate municipalities for the Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) Project, a systematic, rigorous and transparent selection methodology was developed called the Municipal Readiness Evaluation Tool (MRET). The municipal readiness evaluation also enables the identification of municipal grid capacity, technical capacity, financial standing and other gaps and development needs for further renewable energy project preparation, development and implementation that may need to be addressed. The criteria were derived from the requirements of the Department of Mineral Resources & Energy’s New Generation Amendment Regulations published in October 2020.
1. Overall financial standing/credit rating of the municipality;
2. Municipal operational capacity (management, financial and technical)
3. The energy policy/by-law landscape of the municipality, and
4. Current energy-related projects in each municipality
The aim of the Municipal Energy Resilience Project is to support municipalities to take advantage of the new energy regulations to generate, procure and sell their own power so that we can become more energy secure in the Western Cape.
While this project should enable municipalities to help buffer residents and businesses from the impacts of load shedding, they will still continue to be connected to the national transmission system (grid) as municipal distribution systems will not always have the required capacity or be located in the required areas. Additionally, the renewable energy generated or procured by these municipalities won’t be able to meet 100 % of the energy demand at this stage.
The project will require us to work closely with national government to explore how the new energy regulations could lead to new energy generation projects within municipalities. We will also work collaboratively with municipalities, including the City of Cape Town, to implement suitable renewable energy projects in a cost-effective manner.
It is too early to say and will be dependent on the size and scale of the renewable energy projects that will be implemented.
This will be determined through the development of business cases, the identification of pioneering renewable energy projects and the collation of these into a roadmap of pioneering projects in candidate municipalities. The projects may be located in a candidate municipality or in another municipality, with the power either being used within the respective distribution network or potentially being wheeled across the grid to another area. Additionally, a project may operate as a pooled source of power for more than just the candidate municipality.
For electricity generated < 1MW (SSEG), a generation license is not required, but registration is required.
For electricity generated > 1 MW, a generation license is required from NERSA.
Renewable energy such as wind and solar is sustainable when considering that the source of energy is unlimited (sun and wind) in comparison to other sources of energy like coal and oil (fossil fuels) which are finite and being depleted.
Fossil fuels also release greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. While renewable energy technologies utilise non-renewable resources in their construction / manufacture e.g. we need Solar PV cells which are manufactured from metals and we need turbines manufactured from metal to convert wind energy to electricity, they do not release greenhouse gases and other pollutants when operating.