Solar Market Outlook in South Africa
South Africa is striving to reduce its reliance on the state-owned utility for electric generation. Therefore, it is exploring sustainable solutions and renewable energy sources like solar provides the most viable answer. In addition, the current electric utility is unable to meet the power demand due to operational and financial issues.
The South African government recently considered solar and renewables to address power shortage. The South Africa Photovoltaic Industry Association reported that the new PV systems installed in the country generated a total capacity of 1,313 MW. Of the new installations, about 813 MW of them were dedicated for utility scale and the remaining 500 MW were from distributed generation arrays. By the end of December 2020, the total solar capacity in South Africa reached 4,172 MW. The residential installations contributed to 20% of the country’s current solar capacity.
The continued expansion of solar capacity in the commercial and industrial scale has prompted the government to continually evaluate its policies. It is also integrated into the government’s post-covid economic recovery plans.
Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in South Africa
If you are looking for solar equipment suppliers in South Africa, there are plenty of options. You can also find numerous global and online suppliers and distributors to meet your solar power requirements.
Top 8 Major Seaports & Logistics in South Africa
The coast of South Africa provides easy access to trade and logistics activity. The following are the major ports in the country:
- Port of Durban,
- Port of Richards Bay,
- Port Elizabeth,
- Port of Cape Town,
- Port of Coega,
- Port of East London,
- Port of Saldanha.
Ground Mount Systems
Ground Mount Systems for Solar
When you install a solar panel system at home or your working space, you have different mounting ways to choose from. Although you observe that most residential and commercial properties have solar panels installed on their rooftop, that’s not the only means. Besides, that is the only traditional way of placing your solar panels. There are several ways to place and install your solar power systems. Among the methods of installing solar panel systems, the ground mount system is the most common one.
In today’s article, we will explain what a ground mount system is, its cost, benefits, and other important things you should know about it.
What is a Solar Ground Mount System?
Let’s simply put it in a simpler way. From the words “ground” and “mount” a ground mount solar power system is a way of mounting or installing your solar panel system on the ground or any large field near your property rather than installing them at your property’s roof. This type of ground mount system is a good alternative solar solution if you don’t want to place it on top of your house. As long as you have a large yard or field near your place and there is abundant sunlight in your area you can easily have your solar panels installed. Usually, the panels are placed anywhere from a few inches to a few feet off the ground, depending on how your installers set up the racking system.
Types of Ground Mount Systems
The ground-mounted solar system has two main types: standard ground mount and pole mount. The standard one is the same as the pole-mounted ones, the only difference is it is not elevated on poles but rather directly installed on the ground using ground anchors to hold up a racking table.
A standard mount system is also easier to install as it typically holds the solar array in a fixed position on the ground. Besides, it is a more cost-effective solution for a ground install compared to a pole mount system that usually has tracking systems, resulting in a higher cost per watt.
Meanwhile, a pole-mounted system acts as a support system to the ground-mounted panels. Since they are elevated on poles, they can easily get maximum sun absorption. Not to mention that they have a monitoring option that allows the solar panels to angle with the sun’s direction.
What Properties are Applicable for Ground Mount Systems?
You can get your solar panels mounted on the ground for your residential or commercial properties as long as you have an open space to place them. Typically, for a residential home, you will need 60-cell solar panels, same with the solar panel size used in residential roof solar installations. Solar farms and bigger facilities are also applicable for ground-mounted solar installations. These properties need larger-scale ground-mounted systems, usually 72-cell solar panels to power the entire building. In this case, a wider field or ground space is needed to install the solar power system.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Ground-Mounted Solar System?
When it comes to residential and commercial/agricultural properties, there will be a significant difference between the cost of ground-mounted solar panels installation before and after applying incentives. To give you an estimated cost, the average residential property can expect to pay between $23,000 and $46,000+ to get a ground-mounted solar system, but prices still vary depending on the size of solar panels. Whereas, commercial and industrial properties can expect to pay $66,000 to $200,000+ to install a ground-mounted solar system.