Solar FAQs

Do you have questions about solar energy? Our FAQs are designed to give you an overview of solar technology, solar installation, and solar economics, so you’ll have the confidence to move towards a greener energy solution.

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In grid connected rooftop or small solar photovoltaic (SPV) systems, the DC power generated from a solar panel is converted to AC power using a power conditioning unit/Inverter and is fed to the grid.

  • Solar PV Modules/Solar Panels – The Solar PV modules/Solar Panels convert solar energy to DC (direct current) electrical energy. Multiple panels are connected together to form arrays as per the desired capacity of the system.
  • Inverter – An inverter converts variable DC output of Solar PV panels into AC power. Inverters synchronizes with the grid so that generated power from the module can be injected into the grid.
  • Module mounting structure – The module mounting structure, is the support
    structure that holds the Solar PV panels in place for full duration of the system while exposed to all weather conditions. 
  • Bi-direction Meters – Meters are used to record the generation or consumption of electricity. Bi-direction (or Net-Meters) are used to keep track of the electricity that solar PV systems inject to the utility grid as well as identify the electricity that is drawn from the utility grid.
  • Balance of System – These consist of cables, switchboards, junction boxes,
    earthing system, circuit breaker, fuses, lightning protection system, etc.

A 1 kW rooftop system generally requires 4 sq. meters of shadow-free area. However, actual area requirement may vary depending on the efficiency of solar module, and their placement etc.

Solar modules (and cells within) need uninterrupted sunlight to produce maximum
electrical energy. With the shadow even on a part of the module, the generation
reduces to a great extent thereby wasting installed system capacity. Also, prolonged
(regular, though intermittent) shadow on some cells or modules reduces their life
substantially and these become useless much before their standard life of over 25

  • Plant Location
  • Quality of equipment used
  • No. of sunshine hours
  • Workmanship
  • PV module tilt angle and orientation
  • Module Cleaning
  • O&M activities etc.
  • Saving on electricity bill by the consumer.
  • Utilization of available vacant roof space.
  • Low gestation period.
  • No additional requirement of transmission and distribution (T&D) lines.
  • Long term energy and ecological security by reduction in carbon emission.
  • Better management of daytime peak loads.


  • Our outright purchase option relies on the funding instrument/s provided by our clients (i.e. loan through the bank, cash reserves etc.). This model allows the purchaser to own 100% of the solar system together with all the savings it generates.
  • Typically, the Pay-Back period ranges between 2-5 years.
  • Section 12B Tax deduction attributable to the purchaser, which increases yield (100% deduction in Year 1)
  • We provide monthly energy savings reporting & management services as a standard offer.
  • A routine Operations & Maintenance (O&M) contract can be added. Onsite staff can also be trained should this be a requirement.


Two Funded options are available:


1. Discounted Tariff Funded Solution

With this solution, we provide our clients with a discount on their properties bulk tariff rate, providing cheaper energy rates at zero cost over a 20-year term. The cost of the solar energy is based on fixed percentage increases which are modelled to be lower than that of Eskom’s tariff increases. In addition to this, we maintain, insure and operate the system over the full term, thus de-risking the solution.

2. Roof Rental Funded Solution

With this option, we replace electricity savings with a monthly roof rental fee based on the roof occupancy metrics of the solar panels. In addition, these rental agreements are based on a 20-year term, of which we will maintain, insure and operate the system over the term, thus de-risking the solution for our clients.



“What if I make more electricity than I may need?”

There are options available, which allow you to feed excess electricity back into the grid:

Net metering is where consumers use what they need, and excess is sold back into the grid. However, a bi-directional meter is required to allow the excess electrical current to flow back into the grid. The most significant setback to the bi-directional meter is that the user is charged a fixed rate for installation. An additional downside is that the excess electricity’s buyback amount is often lower than what the power utility charges per unit to supply. To cover the installation costs, you would need to produce excess units per day to break even on the installation costs before you can start to see “earnings” from the excess electricity you may have produced.

A Feed-in Tariff (FiT) is a payment for electricity fed into the supply grid from a renewable energy source, such as solar panels. FiTs can be mandated by the government or offered voluntarily by an electricity retailer.

At the end of 2007, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) commissioned the development of a Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) for South Africa, under its authority to regulate electricity tariffs in the country. The feed-in tariff requires the Renewable Energy Purchasing Agency (REPA), in this case the Single Buyer Office (SBO) of the national electricity utility Eskom, to purchase renewable energy from qualifying generators at pre-determined prices. These predetermined prices act as an incentive to renewable energy developers and private investors by reducing financial risk and providing market certainty.