Advancing Clean Energy Solutions in Swaziland

Comment From Requestor

Swaziland flagSERA wishes to thank the Solutions Center for the invaluable support you provided. The report will continue to guide the regulator since the review is still ongoing. It shall also be used as a reference and guide for future applications and developments that will take place in the sector. Such include the ongoing development of an Integrated Resource Plan, which requires the Authority to establish a framework for soliciting renewable power as recommended in the review report.” —Mzwandile R. Msibi, Compliance Monitoring Officer, Swaziland Energy Regulatory Authority

Through its Ask an Expert assistance program, the Clean Energy Solutions Center responded to a request for assistance from the Swaziland Energy Regulatory Authority (SERA). Working with the Clean Energy Regulators Initiative (CERI), a Solutions Center expert provided critical analysis of a solar project application in Swaziland. This application represented the first of its kind for Swaziland, which had never before approved an application for solar technology.

The Solutions Center expert reviewed the regulatory issues associated with the license application for a 100-MW PV independent power station in the Kingdom of Swaziland from a company seeking to interconnect with the Swaziland Electricity Company. The project—proposed for development on a farm site south of Manzini—will have an impact on the reliability of the country’s electric utility system, as well as long-term consequences for the cost of electricity in Swaziland, for years to come.

The expert’s analysis identified significant risks presented by the project to Swaziland ratepayers, as well as concerns for system reliability and challenges for system integration if not adequately addressed in the context of project licensing.

Impact of Assistance

The guidance provided by the Solutions Center to SERA helped form the building blocks for an effective process that will establish a sound framework in Swaziland for future clean energy project development.

Upon receiving the report, SERA investigated all issues raised and implemented several recommendations. With the assistance of the Solutions Center report, SERA:

  • Requested the applicant conduct system impact and compensation studies
  • Requested revised financial statements and cash projections throughout the plant’s validity period
  • Reviewed the applicant’s Swaziland Electricity Company power purchase agreement with an emphasis on pricing
  • Established conditions that the applicant will have to satisfy before receiving a license, such as:
    • Securing approvals from government institutions and authorities that deal with environmental and water issues raised in the report
    • Handling penalties in the event another party defaults
    • Establishing connection and wheeling agreements
    • Achieving compliance with the recently adopted grid code
    • Conducting network simulations.