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Cape Town Overhauls Solar Regulations Effective October 1

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

Beginning from October 1, striking modifications will be applied to Cape Town's solar and battery backup installations. This framework shift aims primarily at addressing the "administrative challenges" incurred while the City of Cape Town processed small-scale generation applications for solar energy. The City witnessed a remarkable increase in applications in July, with an astonishing 1,000 submissions for that month alone. Regrettably, a large fraction of these submissions did not adhere to the standards, prompting the city to restructure the application process.

Among the imminent changes, one that stands out is the classification of all new applications as "grid-tied". Accordingly, residents looking to install any SSEG systems, encompassing solar systems or battery backup solutions, will be compelled to resort to inverters approved by the City of Cape Town. This overhaul denotes a sizeable shift in the arena, bearing in mind that many inverters currently in the marketplace will not be permitted within Cape Town's supply area. The point of emphasis here is that this provision applies to solar PV and battery systems integrated into a building's wiring.

The City's Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen, communicated that this transformation would yield significant improvements. Furthermore, applicants will be required to obtain sign-off from a professional registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), an addition that signifies more expenditure between R5,000 to R10,000, which will be on top of installation costs.

However, installations involving batteries or solar batteries applied before October 1 have a grace period and will continue to follow the existing processes. Predictions are that other municipalities may imitate Cape Town's path, introducing similar regulatory changes.

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