Energy|Eskom|Installation|Power|PROJECT|Projects|Pumps|Renewable Energy|Solar|Storage
Energy|Eskom|Installation|Power|PROJECT|Projects|Pumps|Renewable Energy|Solar|Storage

Cape Town’s solar PV applications reach record level

16th June 2023

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The appetite for rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installations has reached record levels in Cape Town, with March now the best month on record for new applications to install solar energy, says Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

This comes as residents look to capitalise on incentive programmes to help end loadshedding over time.

“February may have shattered all records for solar PV installation applications to the city, but March and April have both already surpassed this,” says Hill-Lewis.

“The city has already received 2 333 solar PV installation applications so far this year, with close to 700 in March alone, making it the biggest month to date.

“Just the first four months of 2023 account for 21% of all solar PV applications received since records began,” notes Hill-Lewis.

“Most of Cape Town’s installed solar PV capacity is commercial, but residential applications are what’s driving record-breaking interest levels,” he adds.

“This clearly shows the effect of our policy shift to expand how we are actively supporting the uptake of safe and legal solar installations.”

To make solar installations more attractive, the city has decided to raise its residential small-scale embedded generation tariff by 10.15% for 2023/24, with an added 25c/kWh incentive.

The City of Cape Town offers households and businesses cash for their excess rooftop solar power.

The city is set to start paying businesses under its Cash-for-Power programme this month, while residents will be able to start selling power for cash later this year.

Hill-Lewis noted in May that Cape Town’s Power Heroes campaign will offer further incentives for households, enabling the city’s residents to sign up for remote demand management, with power-hungry geysers and pool pumps to be switched off during peak periods.

“Should just 25 000 of Cape Town’s more than 600 000 electricity customers sign up as Power Heroes, we can protect against an additional one full stage of loadshedding during peak hours,” says Hill-Lewis.

“And, for every 20 000 customers we add to the programme, we will be able to expand the hours of the day we can protect against loadshedding.

“The programme is entirely voluntary, and costs nothing for those who sign up, so we are calling on as many families as possible to sign up to be Power Heroes.”

Cape Town is also forging ahead with its three-phase procurement programme to end loadshedding, with the aim of protecting residents from the first four stages of Eskom’s loadshedding within three years.

Energy MMC Beverley van Reenen says the city will this year award contracts for 200 MW of renewable energy, with 500 MW of dispatchable energy currently out on tender.

“These initiatives take place alongside key municipal generation projects, such as the Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme, which aims to save up to two stages where possible, and the forthcoming R1.2-billion solar plant and battery project on a portion of Paardevlei, in Somerset West, capable of providing a full stage of loadshedding protection during the day.”

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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