I supported a friend with the installation of a grid tied PV system in Cape Town and I thought it would be of interest to the forum to give some feedback.
The process to connect an inverter to the grid in the CoCT is still pretty much the same as it was 4 years ago when I installed my hybrid system. Although it is reasonably easy to obtain approval to connect to their grid it is unfortunately still not financially viable to feed in the surplus (unrealistic capacity restrictions, must remain net consumer, feed in tariff to low and not guaranteed over life time of system, expensive meter purchases etc. etc. So thanks to our very capable, smart politicians we were forced into a mickey mouse 3.6kWp system and half of the generating capacity will remain on the roof! The good news is, that even such a system is still financially veeeeeery viable.
The system consists of a Solis S5 3.6kW inverter and 8 x JA 455kWp modules. The total cost of the system, including the fee for the registered Engineer as well as the CoC (but exluding installation which we did our self) was R40’000.
Jaco DeJongh from Go-Solar Electrical supplied all the major components. His price and service is unbeatable. He even came out to the site in Durbanville to help with the commissioning of the system! A very big thank you to you Jaco.
According to PVGIS, the systems generating capacity is 6200kW per year. That is an amazing
1700 kWh/kWp. Just for reference, my friends in Germany are over the moon if they achieve over 1000 kWh/kWp.
Assuming that just 50% of the generating capacity can be used, that will still give an annual return of R8’000 (3100kWh x R2.6/kWh cost of electricity in CT). That is 20% return of investment. In addition, it will also eliminate 3100 kg of CO2 emissions in SA (Eskom emits 1kg of CO2/kWh).
I hope our experience encourages many homeowners to invest in PV. There is still far to many roofs empty here