EEC launches #PhehlaSikwati Campaign

By Sizwe Dlamini

To increase safety and respond to the rapid adoption of green energy solutions like solar PV, the Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC) has launched the #PhehlaSikwati campaign.

Speaking at the launch, EEC Managing Director Mr. Ernest Mkhonta said that as a company they recognize and support the shift to alternative energy solutions in compliance with international requirements in the form of various embedded generation systems, in particular solar panel PV panels and also encourage this installation done in a compliant manner to ensure the safety of the national energy grid.

The MD then defined and elaborated more on what Embedded Generators consist of.

“An embedded generator is a power generating unit, installed by a consumer for self-consumption and is embedded in the electricity distribution network. Solar PV is the popular technology type used but also hydro, wind, and biogas are forms of embedded generation,” he noted.

The PhehlaSikwati campaign is aimed at facilitating the registration and authorization of these solar systems which are often connected to the EEC grid. According to rules and regulations customers who use these external systems (existing or planned) are required to register and gain approval from the EEC to connect their systems to the network, this is to ensure visibility, safety, and compliance. Currently, there are over 20kw of these embedded systems connected to the grid. 

Mkhonta highlighted that some of the systems have been connected illegally and the registration was to assist the EEC in knowing how much capacity is connected to the grid for network planning purposes so that they can improve the quality of the current electricity systems.

“Currently there are over 20kw of these embedded systems connected to the grid. This is a large capacity and it is important for safety reasons that we know how many of these systems are being used by the public. Incorrect connection of these systems could result in electric fires and the overcapacity of the grid that will bring poorer power quality for customers as seen in Nhlangano and Ezulwini so we urge people to come forward and register their systems with us as we can also help them install the systems correctly. If the systems are not correctly connected or are not a complaint we will be forced to disconnect them as permitted by section 52(1) of the Electricity Act 2007” he urged.

Registration is to be done voluntarily without punishments for those already connected to the grid but this registration will be enforced by the EEC and can be done in three easy steps. Step 1 Download an application form from the EEC website. Step 2, complete the downloaded application form and attach the necessary documentation. Step 3 Send the completed form and documents to closes on 31 December 2024.

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