IPP connection process

Consultation and application phase 

  • The grid connection process addresses the need for consultation with IPP developers and their consultants and to advice on potential solutions.
  • It addresses the process requirement clarification as well as any briefing notes and standards.
  • The estimated project costs and the associated agreements to establish the required grid infrastructure.
IPP submits application
  • The IPP developer completes or revise an application with required information for Part 1 of the application form
  • The Provision of Reasonable assurance of the right to develop on a proposed site, e.g. landowner consent and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • The IPP developer submits an application to Eskom Grid Access Unit in the respective Region.
Capture application
  • The Region’s respective IPP Executive receives, acknowledges the application form.
  • The application form is captured on the system
  • The IPP developer is furnished with the application reference number
Review application and request additional information
  • The IPP developer is contacted to further discuss actual details with regards to the application request.
  • A reasonable assurance is provided that the project will be developed from the IPP Developer, Eskom and all relevant stakeholders.
Raise and process the cost estimate letter fee
  • The cost estimate letter fee invoice will be generated and issued to the Developer
  • IPP accepts the invoice and pays the invoiced cost estimate letter fee

Quotation and contracting phase   

Issue IPP with cost estimate letter

  • Upon the receipt of payment (reflected on the Eskom billing system), the cost estimate letter is prepared.
  • Necessary feasibility studies are made
  • Cost estimate letter signed by all delegated signatories
  • Release a non-binding cost estimate letter to IPP developer

IPP Developer evaluates cost estimates

  • The IPP developer will evaluate the cost estimates and request any further clarification, and make enquiries if needed.
  • Accept or decline the cost estimate letter.
  • Budget Quotation request letter completed by the customer and handed to Eskom

For all DMRE regulated programmes -the preferred Bidder Status is determined and announced by the DMRE as “preferred bidders” specific to the procurement programme.

Design concept (prelim design)

  • Eskom arranges a scope clarification meeting to be stated in the budget quote
  • Completion of all applicable agreements takes place.

Raise and pay commitment fees

  • IPP Executive generates an Invoice for Budget Quote fee/Commitment fee as stipulated on the cost estimate letter
  • IPP developer pays the commitment or Budget Quotation fee.

Verify concept design (Technical Evaluation Forum (TEF) Approved)

The quotation goes through the Eskom’s governance approval process at CRA (Concept Release Approval) stage

  • Once accepted, the projects is updated
  • Budget Quotation is prepared and approved by through the Eskom’s governance approval channels

Issue IPP developer the Budget Quotation, and Agreements

  • IPP Executive issues the IPP with the Budget Quotation and applicable Agreements
  • IPP developer accepts the Budget Quotation and signs the acceptance letter and states his payment options (if applicable) 
  • IPP Executive generates an invoice for Connection fee as per Budget Quotation and selected payment options
  • IPP Developer issues necessary Guarantees to Eskom
  • DRA (Design Release Approval) stage gets released/created
  • IPP developer signs all Agreements & returns to the Grid Access Project Office

Fulfil all budget conditions / Schedule 11

  • IPP developer pays the connection fee and all the necessary payments as agreed
  • Eskom confirms that all Budget Quotation conditions have been met
  • IPP customer signs and issues the Schedule 11 letter confirming that all Budget Quotation conditions have been met in accordance to the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) (DMREE regulated programme)
  • Eskom ratifies the Schedule 11 letter (the Eskom’s Delegation of Authority determines the signatories that ratifies the Schedule 11 letter
  • ERA (Execution Release Approval) stage gets released / created

Milestone schedule within 30 days of Budget Quotation effective date

  • Eskom arranges a meeting with the IPP developer and all the stakeholders within 30 days of Budget Quotation effective date to develop the project milestone schedules

Each project milestone schedule is ratified by all parties within that 30 day period

Connection phase  
This phase encompasses primary plant connection works (including site establishment, earthmat, civil, steel and electrical works) as well as protection, metering, telecoms and control (SCADA).
The testing and commissioning of the plant and ensuring compliance with applicable codes, standards and technical specifications forms part of the connection phase. The role of GAU throughout the sub-process is to track milestone schedules, coordinate various integration activities between the IPP and Eskom line groups whilst also managing a positive service relationship with IPPs.
The connection sub phases are as follows:
Project execution
  • The project execution phase is executed according to the milestone schedule timelines.
  • Construction completes and project is ready to Grid Connect
Grid Connection Date (GCD)
  • Commissioning and energizing to achieve Grid Connection as stipulated in the milestone schedule timelines
Test and synchronize
  • Testing is undertaken to ensure compliance and commissioning towards commercial operation.
Commercial Operation Date (COD)
Project commercially connected and ready for operations, the PPA commercial terms and conditions are effective from this date.
Operations phase  
The role of GAU post grid connection is to ensure that all activities necessary for the safe, reliable and optimal operation of the IPP’s plant and Eskom’s network are communicated and carried out in a manner that ensures long-term sustainability and value creation for both parties.
The role of GAU is to ensure that all forecasting data, scheduled/unscheduled outages, maintenance plans, switching and isolating procedures and ongoing compliance reports are communicated between Eskom and IPPs. Billing, payments, credit management functions and verification of metering data for invoicing purposes are the other GAU functions relevant to this phase.