Zimbabwe govt issues rules for power grid use

Zimbabwe govt issues rules for power grid use
Misheck Siyakatshana, the acting ZERA chief executive officer
Published: 24 August 2017
GOVERNMENT has come up with guidelines to regulate the country's growing electricity industry to maintain order and create accountability in the use of the national transmission grid.

The rules are designed to delineate the sector, in preparation for the entry of more independent power producers.

The electricity grid code regulations were promulgated through Statutory Instrument 91 of 2017, which was gazetted by the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Samuel Undenge, on August 11.

According to the regulations, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), which is the administrative authority for the Grid Code, will ensure that all licenced power generation and transmission companies comply with the requirements of the law.

ZERA is also expected to constitute a Grid Code Review Panel to ensure that a consultative stakeholder process is followed in the formulation and review of the code.

The composition of the review panel will include two members representing the transmission company, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), one member representing independent transmission operators, one member from the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and one member representing the Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

ZERA will also have its representative on the panel, which will also have two members representing large end users directly connected to the national grid.

The review panel will handle disputes regarding the interpretation of the Grid Code.

Misheck Siyakatshana, the acting ZERA chief executive officer, said it was necessary to set minimum "technical, design and operational criteria in order to protect the National Transmission System, users' plant and apparatus directly connected to the transmission system".

"The Grid Code is designed to facilitate the safe, secure and efficient operation, maintenance, planning and development of the interconnected electricity transmission system in Zimbabwe," Siyakatshana told The Financial Gazette.

"The code makes rules and procedures for the use and operation of the transmission network system as well as rules for connection to this network, including establishing the minimum technical requirements, design, operational criteria and standards for the grid operator and users."

Siyakatshana said the grid code would affect all electricity industry players directly connected to the transmission system including IPPs, large customers and electricity distributors connected to the grid who must comply with rules and procedures.

"This code has been enacted in terms of the Electricity Act Chap 13:19 section 58(3) and will ensure the reliability, integrity of the electricity transmission network in Zimbabwe," he said.

Government in 2002 liberalised the electricity industry by allowing private players to participate in the generation and distribution of electricity through the Electricity Act (Chapter 13: 19) (Number 4 of 2002) and the Electricity Amendment Act of 2003.

Currently, ZESA Holdings' power generation unit, the ZPC, is the largest electricity generation company in the country but ZERA has licensed close to 30 independent power producers with about five of them producing electricity at the moment.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), also a unit of ZESA, is the only company licensed as a national provider of transmission services.
- fingaz
Tags: Power,


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