BERA has issued IPP licences - Moagi

• Minister says IPP licences are a part of efforts towards energy self-sufficiency • 60 applications for rooftop power generation received

BERA has issued IPP licences - Moagi
GABORONE 21 September 2020 , Botswana Oil Limited opens the Gaborone Truck Staging Prohect in Gaborone on 21 September 2020. The minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Lefoko Moagi officiates the opening while the BOL board chairman Dr. Joel Sentsho , chief executive officer was present among the others. Moagi cutting the ribbon while Sentsho assisting him to mark the official opening of the centre. (Pic: MONIRUL BHUIYAN/PRESS PHOTO)

In efforts to make Botswana an energy-secure country, the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) granted licences to certain companies in the private sector to become Independent Power Producers (IPPs), the Minister of Minerals, Green Technology and Energy Security, Lefoko Moagi, has said.

Presenting his ministerial budget proposals before the Committee of Supply in Parliament this week, the Minister Moagi said this is meant to create an enabling regulatory environment in which the private sector plays a participatory role in the energy sector.

“In this regard, the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) has licensed the following Solar Photovoltaic Plants producing over 100kVA;  Botho Park at the Botho University Campus, Feune being Airport junction Mall, Bank of Botswana, Okavango Diamond Trading Company, Primetime Property Holdings at Sebele Mall, Thobo Energy at Francistown and Diamond 2 Trading Company Botswana (DTCB),” he said.

“Tlou Energy was also issued with an IPP licence for local power generation under the government’s Coal Bed Methane (CBM) power generation programme,” he said. “In addition to driving towards our goal for self-sufficiency in local power generation through increased participation of IPPs, the Authority continues to facilitate private investment in power generation for exports. To-date, the Authority has issued licences to two IPPs for power export.”

Minister Moagi asserted that legislation and policy reform have to be directed towards meaningful private sector participation so as to achieve Botswana’s goal of self-sufficiency in power generation. “In this regard, (a) draft Energy Policy was tabled before this House in September 2020 for first reading,” said. “The ministry remains hopeful that a time slot will be found during the current sitting for the policy to be approved by Parliament.”

He revealed that the government is implementing a Rooftop Solar Programme, an initiative through which excess power captured that way will be sold to BPC. “The Rooftop Solar Programme will run for a period of three years, with the system-wide aggregate capacity of 10MW in the first 12 months,” the minister disclosed. “The programme was launched on the 3rd November 2020 and applications (through BPC website) were opened for commercial, industrial and domestic BPC customers from 30th November 2020, until the aggregate capacity limit of 10MW is reached.”

The energy ministry received 60 applications between 1st December 2020 and 15 February 2021 consisting of 50 domestic and 10 business applications that are currently being evaluated.

Minister Moagi told the House that BERA also reviewed Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) electricity tariffs for the financial year 2020/2021 and approved its request for a 22 percent tariff increase. “My Ministry is in the process of migrating to cost-reflective electricity tariffs to enable further investment in the sector, sustainable provision of service by the utility and efficient use of electricity,” he said.