The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Cape Town

New Online Portal to Power Cape Town’s Solar PV Boom

Michael Hawthorne

A new online portal aims to streamline the solar photovoltaic (PV) authorization process in Cape Town, a city already seeing a significant surge in solar installations. The city reports over 5,000 solar PV systems authorized to date, totalling 126 MVA (mega volt-amperes), with applications tripling between 2021 and 2023.

The move comes as part of the city’s efforts to reduce reliance on Eskom, the national power utility, and combat the ongoing energy crisis marked by frequent load-shedding.

Streamlining Solar Power Access

“We pledged to remove obstacles to solar power investment and to make more of our services digitally available, and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” said Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis. “Capetonians can now get a much faster turnaround on permission to install a solar PV system.”

The city’s new Energy Services Applications platform allows for online submission, status tracking, and faster approval times for solar PV installations. This is a significant improvement aimed at boosting the adoption of solar power.

Power to the People

Cape Town’s ‘Cash for Power’ program further incentivizes solar adoption. Residents and businesses can earn credits or cash by selling excess solar energy back to the city.

“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,” Mayor Hill-Lewis explained.

Safety and Efficiency

Safety remains a primary concern. The city emphasizes that authorizing solar PV systems is crucial to prevent fires and power outages caused by substandard installations. The new portal automates approvals for specific types of systems, such as small residential setups, ensuring both safety and a streamlined process.

“The City has already halved the wait for Permission-to-Install letters and now the new Energy Applications Portal will further reduce turnaround times,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen. “If residents already have a pending application, there is no need to re-submit. The City will automatically upload all existing applications to fast-track the process.”

How to Get Started

Installers, property owners, and service providers can register on Cape Town’s e-Services platform and activate the “Energy Services” tile to begin the authorization process.



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