The South African electricity network is managed by NERSA and governed according to the national Grid Code. All electricity transmission, distribution and reticulation networks in the country have to comply with the grid code. Unlike the power quality which is only a specification, the grid code is law and can be enforced through the court system.

There are grid codes available for all sectors of the electricity network such as metering, distribution etc. Lately the Grid Code for Renewable Power Plants has also been released specifically with the increased rollout of renewable energy projects in South Africa.

The goal of this grid code is to ensure seamless integration of the renewable energy plants (RPPs) into the current network and ensuring that the renewable power plants do not negatively impact on the network stability.

We at Entero are capable of doing grid compliance assessments on design before they are built and also on testing of the actual facility after construction.

The grid code applies to the following RPP technologies:
  1. Photovoltaic
  2. Concentrated Solar Power
  3. Small Hydro
  4. Landfill Gas
  5. Biomass
  6. Biogas
  7. Wind

According to the grid code RPPs are categorised as follows:

Category A: 0 - 1 MVA (Low Voltage Connected < 1 000 V).

Category A1: 0 – 13,8 kVA
Category A2: 13,8 kvA - 100 kVA
Category A3: 100 kVA - 1 MVA

Note: All RPPs with a rated power greater than 4,6 kVA must be balanced three-phase.

Category B: 1 MVA - 20 MVA and RPPS less than 1 MVA connected to the MV network (> 1 000 V).

Category C: 20 MVA and higher.

Each category has different compliance criteria for each of the following parameters that have to be met:
  1. Tolerance of Frequency and Voltage Deviations.
  2. Frequency Response.
  3. Reactive Power Capabilities.
  4. Reactive Power and Voltage Control Functions.
  5. Power Quality.
  6. Protection and Fault Levels.
  7. Active Power Constraint Functions.
  8. Control Function Requirements.
  9. Signals, communication & control.
  10. Testing and Compliance Monitoring.
  11. Reporting to NERSA.
  12. Provision of Data and Electrical Dynamic Simulation Models.
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