South Africa: Professional PV Training for Gqeberha Solar Installers

  • Genergy, a prominent local solar installer and member of NMB’s Business Chamber, has partnered with GREEN Solar Academy, Africa’s leading provider of solar PV training, to offer internationally-accredited solar installation training, including PV GreenCard training, in Nelson Mandela Bay.
  • The first 60 solar installers are already trained and more courses are scheduled to meet the growing demand in the province.

A reliable and cost-effective energy supply is a prerequisite to ensuring a flourishing economic hub and solar energy offers this in spades, and the demand for PV systems to cut costs and avoid loadshedding is growing at a constant rate. Even during 2020 and the Covid pandemic that brought the world to a standstill, the solar PV installed capacity in South Africa grew by 37% compared to the previous year’s value, and 2021 saw the deployment of new PV systems with an aggregate capacity of 1313 MW! Combine these facts with our country’s goal to install 6000 MW in solar PV generation capacity by 2030 (which will mean a whopping 400% increase in the use solar energy in SA’s overall energy mix) and you’ll be inclined to agree that the demand for solar installations is set to boom!

However, solar improperly installed is not only a tremendous waste of money but also a potential safety hazard. So how do companies ensure that their systems conform to industry benchmark and best-practices? By selecting an installer who has had professional training and the right certification.

Genergy is a Gqeberha born-and-bred company that prides itself on in-house world-class energy audits, engineering and design, and the installation and maintenance of solar energy systems. Their commitment to excellence in solar energy extends beyond simply ensuring this in their own services and products to desiring to see all installers in the region working to industry-specific benchmarks and standards, specifically the PV GreenCard programme.

The roof structures used in GREEN Solar Academy’s practical PV GreenCard solar training have been relocated to Nelson Mandela University Campus, PE, in preparation for the upcoming 5-day course in Qqeberha from 11 to 15 July. Image credit: GREENSolar Academy

To achieve this goal, Genergy partnered with GREEN Solar Academy, the leading training provider for the PV industry in Africa. GREEN specialises in practical training that equips installers, engineers and entrepreneurs to design, plan and quote for state-of the-art PV systems, install and operate them. GREEN’s comprehensive 5-day solar course, called SuperSolarSchool, is already well-established at GREEN academies around South Africa and sub-Saharan African, and is a recommended training under the SAPVIA PV GreenCard programme.

GREEN Solar Academy PE, headed by Genergy, has already been running this training course regularly since 2020 but has now also partnered with Nelson Mandela University and their Photovoltaic Research Group that is headed by Professor Ernest Van Dyck (Pr.Nat.Sci., Pr.Phys.). GREEN has also recruited two of the university’s most eminent alumni who, along with Genergy’s experienced installers, will pass on their industry experience as trainers.

The SuperSolarSchool includes four days of interactive classroom teaching on the design and sizing of PV solar systems with battery backup power and one full day of practical installation on custom-built training roofs, during which participants will physically attach mounting structures, install the solar panel array and connect to the inverter. The trainers themselves are industry professionals with field experience in the industry, many of them running their own successful solar installation companies with invaluable insider advice on what it takes to succeed in this sector.

The training is the ideal introduction to solar power for people seeking to start a solar business or wanting to add solar to their existing services. What is more, attendees become part of the GREENetwork following their training, a collective of over 3 500 installers from around Africa, as well as solar companies, industry bodies and product distributors, who connect on various channels to collaborate and share information. The GREENetwork provides an easy entry to market for new installation companies.

The next training is scheduled for 11 to 15 July 2022. For more information and pricing, please contact GREEN Solar Academy on +27 (0) 21 012 5839 or info@solar-training.org, or pop into Genergy’s offices at 3 Alabaster Street, South End, Gqeberha.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

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