Founded in 2014, IMPower Pty Ltd (formerly All Power Systems) is a leading engineering, procurement and project management contractor (EPCM) operating in the solar and energy storage industry. View Listing >>
Schoolscape put on a Solar Webinar Series because of the growing need for solar in schools. These webinars featured real schools sharing their solar stores, financial models to make solar more affordable, and learn from solar industry experts.
Nazlie Adam Salie | Co-owner @ Junior College
Emilton Cloete | Principal @ Cape Town High School
Ray Holmes | Operation Manager @ Woodridge
Abe Cambridge | CEA and Founder @ Sun Exchange
Sandor Nagy | Chief Commercial Officer @ IMPOWER
Tyger Geldenhuis | Managing Director @ Trust Solar
Felicity Barker | Sales Director @ Toshiba
Zander Kotze | Renewable Energy Specialist @ Micasa Energy Solutions
Rene Swart | Schooladvisor Tenders (Previously St Stithians Operations Manager)
There were a lot of questions raised during the webinars. Click on one of the tabs below to view the answer.
Grid-Tie systems for schools (and businesses) typically see 2st year ROI’s greater than 25%.
If your school is leasing a solar plant, you don’t need to really worry about the life cycle of the plant because that will be replaced with no extra cost under the lease.
The battery life span determines the number of cycles the battery goes through (the number of charges from empty to full). Typically that is between 4000 and 6000 cycles, which can be 4000 to 6000 days if you charge it daily. That is between 10 and 15 years. Solar panels have a 10-year product warranty and a 25-year power guarantee. I’ve personally seen solar panels working for 40 years and there are solar panels floating around in space that are older than that. The inverters will have to be replaced at year 10.
Unfortunately not. Section 12b for tax benefits is only for private schools and businesses. What will be in place in the future are carbon credits, but will only be applicable in the CAPEX or purchase scenario when you own the solar plant.
The equipment used is covered by written warranties ranging from 5 years for inverters to 25 years for panels. Workmanship is covered by a Service Level Agreement, the cost of which is included in our proposals (0,5% of CAPEX)
Yes it is. This is called a Grid-Tie System.
Income Tax Act Section 12B allows for the asset to be depreciated fully in the 1st financial year after the system is commissioned (equates to 28% reduction in the cost of the system). This incentive does not apply to schools though. No other “tax implications)
The City of Cape Town and some other municipalities currently offer these rebates. Eskom itself has tabled this and will probably offer this on a 1-to-1 basis. This has, however, not yet been finalized. So depending on what municipality you’re in, you may be able to benefit from a rebate.
This is not the case at all. Also, a school should NOT go “off-grid” completely. There is a misunderstanding regarding the terms used.
Not at all. If however that is done, it would reduce your load, and thereby enable your investment in solar to realize even faster/larger returns.
The maximum contract length that we’ve seen is 9 and a half years. As soon as this lease term ends, you can buy the plant or renew the lease agreement.
The rule of thumb is that you should be able to store the same amount/or more of the power you are able to generate.
Yes, the smallest solar plant system to make it viable is 10 000 units of electricity per month, but if you pay a high tariff that product system can be lower which works out at 20wk per solar plat is the smallest to make it viable. If you want to add battery storage the value of the plant increases, which will influence the solar plant Sun Exchange can employ.
The solar plant is insured through a Sun Exchange lease for fire, theft and damage.
What is the maintenance cost to the schools when a school acquired solar panels through a Sun Exchange lease agreement?
They do; your overall bill though includes this requirement, and that is what we use to design and propose systems. During the day, therefore, you would not have concerns about the operating of aircons.
This is not an issue at all. We are able to contend with any roof type and pitch (besides thatch).
For a grid-tie system, we would use Goodwe inverters, Canadian Solar panels; for Hybrid systems, we would use Deye 3-phase inverters, Canadian Solar panels, and Hubble Lithium Iron batteries. We do however work with any other equipment if specified by clients. All of this, however, depends on what size and type of system is required.
No, Sun exchange won’t cover the switch to LED lighting.The first thing a school has to do before it gets solar is determine if they are efficient users of energy. If not, the school has to take action before getting a solar plant. It is much easier to save a unit of energy than to generate a unit of energy. There is no use getting a 100kw solar plant if a 50kw plant suits you better if you are using energy more efficiently. When Sun Exchange comes around to do a site survey at your school they can guide you in ways your school can save and be more efficient users of energy.
The only responsibility is to make sure there is someone in the school that will champion the solar project and will communicate back to the governing board to get sign off.
Yes, it would provide an idea of your consumption which is what we need to design, and quote (you can then choose whether to go with the system proposed, or a different size)
Schoolscape has been flooded with questions and enquiries around solar and credible solar companies. To meet this very growing need we have put together a short and sharp webinar series that will answer all your questions no matter where your school is in your solar journey. We will be hearing from real schools, industry experts and leaders in financial models (making solar affordable and a very real option for low-income schools).
In each of the 3 webinars, we will showcase a real school story, the partners that helped them make it happen and the supporting technology they use.
No matter where you are in your solar journey, from just exploring to already running solar, join us for this highly valuable event, and start an informed journey of cost savings and sustainable energy for your school.
The webinar series will take place over 3 days, Monday 25 Oct, Wednesday 27 Oct, and Friday 29 Oct. The start times are the same each day, 11am – 12:10pm.
All event speakers below have either helped their school implement a solar solution or are experts working for companies that can help you get started or support your school on your solar journey.
Day 2 Speaker: Hear first-hand as Emilton shares how they implemented a fully monitored, maintained and insured solution for the school with zero upfront costs. In his session, you will find out their learnings and how they are saving R77k per annum and how they are preventing 691 Tonnes of CO2 from entering the earth's atmosphere.
Day 2 Speaker: Abe, a true solar industry expert with 20 years of experience, will share the different financial models available to schools looking to implement Solar. He will then speak through the model his own company, Sun Exchange, has developed with schools in mind. Sun Exchange has helped Bergvliet High, Rob Ferreira High, Knysna Primary, Rondebosch Boys, Westville Girls, Sacred Heart and many more.
Day 3 Speaker: Rene Swart is the ex operations manager of St Stithians college of 15 years that helped create the solar framework for her school. Rene has taken this knowledge and understanding of schools and is helping the SchoolAdvisor Tenders team successfully run tenders. She will be sharing why a solar project at your school would benefit greatly from putting it to tender.
Day 1 Speaker: Nazlie will be sharing Junior College's experience implementing solar. She will share how they funded their solar project, how the installation process worked and how having solar has both saved the school money and saved the environment.
Day 2 Speaker: Sandor will speak through three school case studies before diving into what a CAPEX model would look like for a school and the benefits of going this route as opposed to financing.
Day 1 Speaker: Tyger will outline the overwhelming benefits of solar for schools. From cost benefits to environmental & educational benefits, he will share how a school is the perfect institution to adopt solar. He will share from their experience helping Junior College reach 90% self-sufficiency.
Day 1 Speaker: Felicity will focus on products that complement and support your solar journey, with a specific focus on LED lighting options. She will experience the experiences of helping schools implement cost savings solutions that work with solar.
Theme: The Benefits of Solar for your School
Companies Involved: Toshiba Cape Town & Trust Solar
By completing this form, you are registering to view the recordings for all three webinars. You will receive a confirmation email with the link to watch the soon after registering. If you can’t find the email, please check your spam folder or send us an email.