Powerwall battery jump-starts revolution
14 NOVEMBER 2014
The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg, today visited Constantia to view the latest photovoltaic (PV) rooftop to power a private residence.
Home owners Leigh De Decker and Mark Beloch signed the City’s new small-scale embedded electricity generation (SSEG) contract, allowing them to feed extra electricity generated by their solar panels back into the City’s electricity grid and to receive an offset against their monthly electricity account.
Through photovoltaic panels, De Decker and Beloch produce some of the electricity needed to meet their own consumption demands.
‘We see this as a wonderful opportunity to promote the uptake of this technology and to applaud the City of Cape Town’s efforts in getting this long-awaited project off the ground,’ said De Decker.
The City has laid the foundation for the growth of small-scale embedded generation, but it is only through partnership with communities that significant progress towards carbon neutrality can be achieved.
‘Just over a month ago, in September, the first such contract was signed between the City and Black River Park, an office park in Observatory. I am thrilled to see another property joining the league of renewable energy generators so soon, and it is heartening to know that Cape Town residents and businesses are taking advantage of such opportunities. Ultimately it will help stimulate the green economy by increasing demand for solar panels and other sources of alternative energy, which will in turn help create jobs in this sector,’ said Councillor Sonnenberg.
It is envisaged that this will become the trend, and that in time many SSEG installations will be connected to the City’s grid.
This project is in line with the City’s commitment to creating a sustainable city that addresses the challenges facing our environment. It also maintains the City’s position of being at the forefront of green initiatives.
The City has set itself a target of sourcing 10% of its electricity from renewable energy resources by 2020 and the roll-out of the small-scale embedded generation tariff supports this goal.
Cape Town, along with all cities throughout the world, has to contend with the negative consequences of climate change. South Africa’s electricity generation is notoriously environmentally unfriendly, as it relies to a great extent on the burning of coal. For every 1 kilowatt hour of grid electricity consumed, about 1 kg of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.
Our over-reliance on fossil fuels for our energy needs cannot continue unabated, and we as a City need to do everything possible to pursue alternative, cleaner sources of energy.
The primary ways we are doing this include using electricity more efficiently and using electricity generated from renewable sources such as the sun and wind.
For more than a year, the City has been running a project to find a solution which allows consumers to feed power back into the grid and to receive an offset doing so. This has been a complex process as numerous factors have had to be addressed, including: the establishment of appropriate tariffs; identification of suitable metering systems which can measure power flow in two directions; and the implementation of automated billing systems which take into account both the purchase and sale of electricity.
This innovative project underscores the value of using green energy and allows residents to take advantage of the City’s programme to allow for offsets in exchange for the feeding into the grid of excess electricity.
Consumers who wish to feed SSEG electricity into the municipal electricity grid need to have a bi-directional advanced meter infrastructure credit meter installed by the City at their own cost and take their electricity supply at the appropriate SSEG tariff.
Guidelines and application requirements can be found on the City’s website. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the City for further information. Please send an e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.