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Cape Town's 2023 Rooftop Solar Revolution Breaks Records

Published September 30, 2023
9 months ago

Cape Town's rooftop solar revolution is truly basking under the sun, with August 2023 witnessing an unprecedented boom in solar photovoltaic (PV) installation applications. More than 1500 small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) applications made their way to the city, representing a staggering 50% increase when compared to the previous record held just a month ago in July.

The City of Cape Town is harnessing this interest evinced by Capetonians in solar PV and battery systems, to combat the recurring Eskom load shedding, while seizing the moment to introduce incentives for surplus power generation. In order to fast-track the authorisation process, the city has proactively initiated developing an online application portal, set to dramatically decrease turnaround times from October 1, 2023.

It's also noteworthy that from then on, all SSEG systems will be required to include a City-approved inverter and have professional certification. Only applications for grid-tied systems will be accepted post-October, to combat the rise in substandard and unreliable wiring systems resulting in long-lasting outages post-load-shedding events.

Geordin Hill-Lewis, Cape Town's mayor, emphasised on the city's commitment towards enabling more households to adopt solar by offering a cost-effective Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meter early next year. This transition will further complement Cape Town's existing 'cash for power' incentives, thus spurring households and businesses to sell their surplus energy back to the city.

"We are tirelessly working to add 1 GW of independent power from various sources to Cape Town's grid over time. The first 650 MW is expected to be up and running by 2025/26 to be ready against Eskom's initial four load-shedding stages," Hill-Lewis explained.

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