City working to streamline solar PV approvals for a shorter turnaround time

A growing number of residents in Cape Town are embracing solar PV and battery systems to shield themselves from Eskom’s frequent loadshedding and capitalise on forthcoming incentives offered by the City for locally generated electricity. The City is taking steps to streamline the authorisation process for solar PV installations, including the launch of a user-friendly online portal early in the... Read more → The post City working to streamline solar PV approvals for a shorter turnaround time appeared first on CapeTown ETC.

City working to streamline solar PV approvals for a shorter turnaround time

A growing number of residents in Cape Town are embracing solar PV and battery systems to shield themselves from Eskom’s frequent loadshedding and capitalise on forthcoming incentives offered by the City for locally generated electricity.

The City is taking steps to streamline the authorisation process for solar PV installations, including the launch of a user-friendly online portal early in the upcoming year.

As of 1 October 2023, there will be a reduction in the processing time for Small-Scale Embedded Generation (SSEG) system applications. Starting from this date, all SSEG systems must feature an inverter approved by the City and undergo professional evaluation.

This change is reportedly made necessary due to the proliferation of unreliable systems and improperly wired installations, often provided by fly-by-night operators. Such practices have exacerbated the power outages experienced when power is restored following loadshedding events.


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Addressing a large gathering of installers at a City and GreenCape installer session, Councillor Beverley van Reenen, the City’s mayoral committee member for energy, explained that the prevalence of loadshedding by Eskom has prompted a surge in the installation of solar PV and battery systems among Capetonians. To ensure safety and safeguard electrical grids, national regulations mandate the authorisation of all solar systems.

The influx of applications, combined with the diversity of system types, has led to delays in the authorisation process.

Councillor van Reenen stated that the City is committed to expediting approval times by increasing staffing levels for faster processing and introducing an accessible online application portal in the near future. To date, the City has granted authorisation to nearly 6 000 systems.

She said, ‘Starting October 1, only systems equipped with City-approved inverters and professional certification will receive authorisation. All systems will be considered grid-tied. This change will significantly expedite the authorisation process, enhance safety measures, reduce the risk of area-wide power outages caused by subpar grid connections, and protect homeowners from unscrupulous operators. The City extends its gratitude to industry stakeholders who are already promoting safe and legal systems. Our teams are available to support all stakeholders during this transition.’

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Councillor van Reenen added, ‘The improvements we are implementing will result in faster and safer authorisations, allowing customers to safeguard against loadshedding more swiftly. Installers will also find it easier to manage inventory and cash flow without being bogged down by excessive paperwork. As we move forward together, we highly value our industry partners.’

National legislation and regulations have mandated the authorisation of all power-generating systems connected to the electricity supply for nearly a decade. From 1 October 2023, all SSEG systems must feature a City-approved inverter and undergo professional assessment. Streamlining these configurations will expedite the process.

Please note that these regulations apply to solar PV and battery systems integrated into a building’s wiring. They do not apply to trolley inverters, for instance, those that plug into wall sockets, as these are classified as electrical appliances. Applications for standby and off-grid systems will not be accepted. Existing authorisations and applications submitted before October will remain valid and processed, with priority given to grid-tied systems featuring City-approved inverters.

The City is currently developing an online application process to simplify the procedure.

Customers can refer to a checklist to navigate through the process, available here.

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City of Cape Town overwhelmed with applications for solar installations

Picture: Joshua Tsu / Unsplash

The post City working to streamline solar PV approvals for a shorter turnaround time appeared first on CapeTown ETC.


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