Cape Town’s solar PV applications at record levels

Geordin Hill-Lewis

New applications for rooftop solar PV in Cape Town have reached record levels according to the City of Cape Town with March 2023 the best month so far.

According to Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, the City has already received 2 333 solar PV installation applications during 2023 with close to 700 in March alone with the first four months of 2023 accounting for a sizeable 21% of all solar PV applications received.

Most of Cape Town’s installed solar PV capacity is commercial, but residential applications are what’s driving record-breaking interest levels,” he said. “To make going solar even more attractive, the City is raising the residential small scale embedded generation tariff by 10.15% for 2023/2024, plus a 25c per kWh incentive. The City is also significantly reducing the monthly AMI meter Administration fee in 2023/24. This is aside from the new national tax incentives for solar PV investment.”

Cape Town is the first city in SA to offer households and businesses cash for their excess rooftop solar power and the City is set to start paying businesses Cash for Power in June. It is also forging ahead with its three-phase procurement to end load shedding, with the goal of protecting residents from the first four stages of Eskom’s load-shedding within three years.

Councillor Beverley van Reenen, Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, said the City will this year award contracts for 200MW of renewable energy, with 500MW 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 R1.2bn solar plant and battery project on a portion of Paardevlei in Somerset West, capable of providing a full stage of load-shedding protection during the day.”