Johannesburg - The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) on Thursday announced it had approved the licensing of the 28 preferred bidders for the first phase of government’s renewable energy independent power producer programme. The regulator said the licensing process was completed in April‚ a month earlier than scheduled. The completion of the licensing process follows a series of public hearings held in Cape Town‚ the Eastern and Northern Cape‚ Port Elizabeth and Limpopo during the first week of March. “All 28 applications met the required criteria‚ which including technical‚ financial‚ economic‚ regulatory and legal requirements‚” the regulator said. The 28 independent power producers are earmarked to contribute 14 216 MW to the country’s total installed capacity‚ as part of the department of energy’s renewable energy bidding programme aimed at producing 3 725 MW from independent power producers.