Picture: 123RF/PETKOV
Picture: 123RF/PETKOV

Eskom’s grid operator Tshifhiwa Magoro will head the independent power producer’s (IPPs) office, which is responsible for rolling out the government’s renewable energy IPP programme.

Magoro is the GM of the Eskom system operator and Eskom telecommunications, and is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the SA electricity grid. This  includes managing real-time electricity supply and balancing demand.

As of May 1, he will head up the office that oversees the execution of the green-power programme, which has attracted R209bn in investment into more than 112 green-power projects.

The programme has, at times, been a bone of contention for  Eskom, which is mandated to buy the power from these projects. Although it passes on the expense to consumers through the electricity tariff, the cash-strapped utility has previously complained about having to bear the expense upfront and, at one point, caused delays in rolling out projects when it refused to sign power purchase agreements.

The office’s mandate, which expired at the end of March this year, has also been extended to March 2023, by which time it is expected to be institutionalised, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) confirmed.

The IPP office was established in 2010 through a memorandum of agreement between the department of energy, the National Treasury and the DBSA.

Magoro replaces Sandra Coetzee who has held the acting position since July last year when the office’s long-serving former CEO, Karen Breytenbach was removed from the post.

An electrical engineer by profession, Magoro has more than 20 year’s technical, managerial and leadership experience in the electricity supply industry.

He has held technical positions in planning, operations, project management, energy markets, regulation, compliance management, grid codes, benchmarking activities, as well as grid integration of different generation. After the implementation of the country’s renewable energy IPP programme, he led the process that saw the development and enforcement of the first renewable grid code in SA.

The appointment follows a “rigorous recruitment process and, on the recommendation of an interview pane,l which consisted of representatives from the department of mineral resources and energy, the National Treasury’s government technical advisory committee, and the DBSA”, the bank said in a statement.

steynl@businesslive.co.za

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