Cape Town launches online solar authorization portal


The city of Cape Town, South Africa, has opened an online solar authorization portal to reduce waiting times for certifications to install residential solar and battery systems.

PV systems in the city require written permission to be switched on prior to installation. Unauthorized systems are considered safety risks, with the potential to cause fires or power outages.

There has been a sharp increase in PV systems requesting authorization in recent years. A statement on the municipality’s website says that monthly applications tripled between 2021 and 2023. More than 5,000 solar PV systems have been authorized to date, totaling 126 MVA.

The City's Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen, said the new Energy Services Application portal will automate the issuing of permission to install letters for small residential solar PV and battery systems applications.

Citizens looking to use the service can register for the city’s eServices, which takes around two days to activate, before applying via the online portal. The city says it will upload existing applications to the system.

In 2023, South Africa’s National Treasury launched a ZAR 4 billion ($216.7 million) rebate program for residential PV. According to South African utility Eskom, the country surpassed 4.4 GW of rooftop solar capacity last year.

In February, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa had overcome the worst of the power shortages that have troubled the country in recent times.

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