Rooftop solar PV, an awakening giant


The Renewable energy independent power producers program (REIPP) only made provision for solar PV greater than 1 MW, which effectively excludes most rooftop systems. In spite of this the past year has seen a great increase in the number of private rooftop PV systems installed on commercial/industrial premises at the cost of the owners. Ostensibly for generating electricity for own use, these systems are nonetheless grid tied, and could be capable of feeding surplus power back into the grid under low load conditions. A number of residential rooftop grid tied PV systems have also come to light, using nett-metering by agreement with the relevant municipalities. Several municipalities have drawn up procedures for connecting such systems, and NERSA has also produced documents covering such situations. So it would seem that in spite of exclusion from the large scale REIPP program, privately installed small scale grid tied rooftop solar is alive and well and growing in South Africa.

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