REGISTRATION OF SOLAR INSTALLATIONS IN THE CITY OF CAPE TOWN

Changes to the City of Cape Town Electricity Supply By-Laws of 2010 now make it compulsory to register certain solar installations with the City. This affects all properties that fall within the City of Cape Town municipal boundary.

Over the past few years, the City of Cape Town has seen a rapid uptake of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV)  installations and encourages all home and business owners with these installations to register both grid-tied and off-grid small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) systems by 28 February 2019.

  • People with properties that have SSEG systems are now required to register and obtain authorisation in accordance with the City’s Electricity Supply By-law.
    TAKE NOTE: This does not however apply to solar water heaters and emergency equipment such as standby generators, unless they are synchronised or connected to the City’s electrical distribution network.

    Connecting an SSEG system to the grid can pose a safety risk and, for this reason, the City must ensure that all generating equipment is approved and installed correctly.

  • Unauthorised systems that are grid-tied will be considered to be a form of tampering. Off-grid systems must also be registered so that they are not mistaken for grid-tied systems. 

What is an SSEG?

SSEG systems (or small-scale embedded generation systems) are any devices or machinery that are designed to generate and supply electricity to an electrical installation, such as home or business. The most popular of these systems are Solar Photovoltaic systems.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) technology uses the light energy from the sun to generate electricity that can be used in your home.

They can be divided into four main categories:

1. Grid-tied feed in PV systems: They have PV panels that are connected directly to an inverter. The electricity it generates is used locally on the property or fed back into the electricity grid, when excess electricity is generated.

2. Grid-tied hybrid PV systems: They are able to disconnect the incoming supply and connect the load to the PV system or stored energy in batteries. These systems can operate in load-shedding scenarios.

3. Grid-tied PV systems with reverse power blocking: They provide electricity to the property when there is a demand for it, but blocks any excess electricity generated from feeding back onto the grid.

4. Standalone or off grid PV systems: They usually have batteries and a charge controller. The system feeds electrical circuits on the property that are wired completely electrically separate of the electricity service provider’s grid.

For more information and to register please visit http://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect There is no registration fee.

We wish to thank Robert Krautkramer from Miltons Matsemela Attorneys for this memo.