SSEG refers to renewable power generation under 1 Megawatt, located on residential, commercial or industrial sites. SSEG systems are connected to the wiring on the customer’s premises, which is in turn connected to, and supplied by, the municipal electrical grid – thus these generators are considered to be ‘embedded’ in the municipal electrical grid.
Most of the electricity generated by an SSEG user is consumed directly at the site. However, there may be times when generation exceeds consumption, and typically a limited amount of power is allowed to flow onto the municipal electrical grid. One of the major advantages of such a municipal electrical grid connected system is that it eliminates the need for backup batteries that stand alone (or off-grid) systems require.
Solar photovoltaic (PV)
Solar PV panels that are mounted on the roof of a residential, commercial or industrial building are SSEG installations that convert solar energy into usable electricity. A PV system is made up of solar cells that are connected in a way that points them toward the sun, which an inverter then converts from direct current (DC) into usable alternating current (AC).
The size, layout and configuration of a solar PV system will differ, depending on the use of the system, size of the building, the energy demand and consumption pattern (load profile) and the ability of the municipal electrical grid-operator to allow the system to be grid-tied and feed back onto the municipal electrical grid.
Feeding-in to the Municipal Grid
Many municipalities across the Western Cape already have the rules and tariffs in place for feeding into the grid when installing a PV system. The remaining municipalities across the province are being supported by the Western Cape Government and GreenCape to design and implement appropriate feed-in tariffs and approve the necessary regulations.