Cape Town Launches Portal to Boost Home Solar Installations”

New Online System Simplifies Solar PV Application Process for Residents

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe
Cape Town solar portal

The City of Cape Town has launched an innovative online portal designed to facilitate the application process for residential solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery system installations. This initiative reflects the city’s commitment to promoting sustainable energy solutions and addressing the growing demand for solar energy among its residents. The newly introduced solar PV authorization portal, accessible through the City’s eServices platform, is set to significantly reduce the time required for the authorization of solar installations. This development comes in response to Cape Town’s remarkable surge in solar PV installations, a trend that underscores the city’s transition towards greener energy sources.

The necessity for such an authorization process is rooted in national safety requirements. Unsanctioned and substandard PV systems pose serious risks, including potential fires and power outages, as well as endangering the safety of electrical workers tasked with maintaining the city’s electrical grid. The streamlined portal aims to mitigate these risks by ensuring that all solar installations meet the requisite safety standards.

Councillor Beverley van Reenen, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, highlighted the efficiency gains anticipated with the new Energy Services Application. This digital tool is designed to automate the issuance of Permission to Install letters for small-scale residential solar PV and battery systems, thereby significantly expediting the application process. For residents who have initiated their application process before the launch of the online service, Councillor van Reenen reassures that there is no need for resubmission. The City of Cape Town is committed to handling these pending applications, ensuring they are processed and uploaded onto the new platform on behalf of the applicants. However, she emphasizes that property owners must be registered on the City’s eServices portal to access the Energy Services platform.

To date, over 5,000 solar PV systems have received authorization, collectively amounting to 126 mega volt amperes (MVA) of installed capacity. This figure is a testament to the city’s proactive stance on solar energy adoption. Furthermore, Councillor van Reenen confirmed that the monthly volume of applications received by the City has tripled between 2021 and 2023, indicating a significant shift towards solar energy among Cape Town’s residents.

This initiative not only demonstrates the City of Cape Town’s dedication to environmental sustainability but also positions it as a leader in the adoption of renewable energy technologies. By simplifying the application process for solar installations, the city is effectively lowering the barriers to entry for residents wishing to transition to solar energy, thereby contributing to a greener, more sustainable future. As the city continues to embrace solar PV technology, this portal is expected to play a crucial role in facilitating Cape Town’s energy transition and meeting the growing demand for renewable energy solutions.

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