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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Solar PV boom’s new online portal

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As the solar power industry flourishes in Cape Town, the process of obtaining authorizations for PV systems is set to become much smoother and quicker thanks to a new online application portal. Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis introduced the City’s latest online Energy Services Applications platform during an event held in Cape Town recently. The event was hosted by GreenCape in collaboration with solar industry stakeholders.

Solar PV boom’s new online portal

With over 5,000 solar PV systems already authorized, amounting to 126 MVA (mega volt-amperes) to date, the City has witnessed a threefold increase in monthly applications between 2021 and 2023.

‘Capetonians can now get a much faster turnaround on permission to install a solar PV system. With the City’s new online Energy Services Applications platform you can apply, track your status, and get approval in a shorter timeframe,” said the Mayor.

The introduction of the new online applications portal is expected to significantly reduce the time required for solar PV authorizations.



ADDITIONAL INFO: Apply to authorise your solar PV system via the easy-to-use online portal



Hill-Lewis emphasized the City’s commitment to eliminating barriers to solar power investment and expanding digital accessibility to their services, a promise that has been fulfilled with the launch of the platform.


Significantly reduce the time required for solar PV authorizations



The City says authorising solar PV systems is a safety requirement as fires and power outages can be caused by inferior, unauthorised PV systems, which also endanger frontline workers maintaining the City’s electrical grid.

Hill-Lewis added, “Incentivising widespread take-up of safe, grid-tied solar PV is a key part of Cape Town’s plans to lessen Eskom reliance and end load-shedding over time.”
Furthermore, the City is looking to buy as much excess solar power as residents and businesses are willing to sell via the Cash for Power programme.
Under this programme, Capetonians can earn municipal bill credits and cash.

Cash for Power programme


City bosses say they’ve already halved the wait for Permission-to-Install letters by only accepting grid-tied SSEG systems using City-approved inverters, for the safety of our customers, our City teams, private installers and our grid itself.
They’ve also streamlined the process to get inverters onto our City-approved list, making the verification of applications easier and faster.
The Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen says “The new Energy Services Application portal will automate the issuing of Permission to Install Letters for certain types of applications, such as small residential solar PV and battery systems, vastly reducing turnaround times.”
She commented that the portal is integrated with their extensive City databases to seamlessly link property information and electrical supply data for the vetted service providers signing off the installation.
Van Reenen added that if residents already have a pending application, there’s no need to re-submit. The City will automatically upload all existing applications, which will allow them to fast-track those that have not yet been processed.

How to authorise your solar PV system online

If you are an installer, a property owner or a service provider involved in solar PV installations, your first step is to register on e-Services and activate the “Energy Services” tile in order for you to access Energy Service Applications.



Customers with authorised grid-tied SSEG systems will automatically earn credits on their electricity and rates accounts by selling power back to the City.

Solar PV boom's new online portal
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis addressed solar power industry stakeholders on the City’s new online solar authorisations portal. The event was hosted by GreenCape at their Cape Town offices on 13 March 2024.



If customers are interested to go above and beyond this to earn actual cash once their total municipal bill is credited down to zero, they can apply during the next application window. The first window closed on 8 March, with dates for the next window to be announced in due course.

Once a customer is registered, any remaining credit will accumulate until it reaches a certain amount and then the City will pay you out in cash.

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