‘Be more independent’, is maxx-solar's slogan for establishing its range of products on the market. The system, inaugurated in Dominican Grimley School on 19 May 2016, demonstrates just that. Enlarge

‘Be more independent’, is maxx-solar's slogan for establishing its range of products on the market. The system, inaugurated in Dominican Grimley School on 19 May 2016, demonstrates just that.

© dena

South Africa leads the whole continent when it comes to generating electricity from renewable energy sources. Under the Integrated Resource Plan approved in 2011, the South African government is aiming to achieve an ambitious target by 2030: meeting more than 40 per cent of the country’s energy needs through renewable resources. This is a great opportunity for photovoltaics (PV) – particularly since South Africans recognise there is great potential here.

With systems providing power for their own consumption, they will be less dependent on grid stability and on the pricing structures of their electricity suppliers.frica leads the whole continent when it comes to generating electricity from renewable energy sources. Under the Integrated Resource Plan approved in 2011, the South African government is aiming to achieve an ambitious target by 2030: meeting more than 40 per cent of the country’s energy needs through renewable resources. This is a great opportunity for photovoltaics (PV) – particularly since South Africans recognise there is great potential here.

With systems providing power for their own consumption, they will be less dependent on grid stability and on the pricing structures of their electricity suppliers.

A scheme for independence

maxx-solar & energie GmbH & Co. KG, based in Thuringia, saw an attractive market opportunity here. Because South Africa has barely any means of financing PV systems, the company devised its own scheme for ‘PV renting’. With this, it qualified for participation in the Renewable Energy Solutions Programme of the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency.

Both reference installations set up in the RES project – one at the Dominican Grimley School in Hout Bay, and the other at the Atlantic Gold Guesthouse in Camps Bay – show how the PV renting approach works. The systems were installed by maxx team installers, SOLARpowerPB and RED Engineering, and sold to an investor. The operators use the electricity, which ideally meets most of their needs. They pay a predetermined monthly rent for the system to the investor, and so are largely unaffected by increases in electricity prices. After seven to twelve years, they have the option of buying the system.

Inauguration of the installation at Grimley School

Inauguration of the installation at Grimley School: Klaus Heidorn (Consulate General, Cape Town), Matthew Kempthorne (City of Cape Town), Clemens Brandt (RED Engineering), Antje Klauss-Vorreiter (maxx-solar), Felix Schmid (dena), Sister Krige (Dominican Grimley School, at the lectern).

© dena

The marketing aim: PV for everyone

To achieve maximum public awareness of PV renting, both pilot projects were inaugurated during Africa’s biggest energy trade fair and conference, the African Utility Week. maxxsolar’s
participation in the joint stand of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy at the trade fair in May 2016 created extra synergies.

About the German project partner

The maxx-solar academy – an independent training center for solar technology – was founded in 2011 together with the DGS SolarSchool Thuringia. The maxx-solar academy is represented by four branches in South Africa and has trained more than 1,500 participants.


System data Dominican Grimley School:
Installed capacity:20 kWp
Module type:95x Q.Cells G3 210W
Inverter type:1x SolarEdge SE15K
Annual yield:33.600 kWh/a
CO2 savings:up to 40 t/a
System data Atlantic Gold Guest House:
Installed capacity:14 kWp Guest House
Module type:66x Q.Cells G3 210W
Inverter type:1x SolarEdge SE15K
Annual yield:23.400 kWh/a
CO2 savings:bis zu 28 t/a