Media Statement: SAPVIA makes solar safer with new quality assurance standard

Posted on 03/16/17 in Current Activities, Downloads, general, Press Releases, No Comments

SAPVIA makes solar safer with new quality assurance standard

Installing solar panels on your roof will soon be even safer thanks to the introduction of a new industry standard known as the PV GreenCard.

Fifteen representatives from tertiary learning institutions around the country attended the first “Inform the Trainer” workshop at the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) last week. Attendees will now be able to train solar PV (photovoltaic) technicians on how to install solar panels to the industry-recognised guidelines and international best practice.

“Up until now there has been no industry-wide, standardised PV licensing system or registration process so we developed the PV GreenCard as a means to promote quality and safe Solar PV installations within the industry,” explained South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) CEO Mike Levington.

International solar PV experts have worked together with SAPVIA for over a year to develop the PV GreenCard training outline and material in line with the national Solar PV Technician Qualification. Successful candidates will be issued with an Occupational Certificate as a Solar Photovoltaic Service Technician
The project is the result of a partnership between SAPVIA and the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar), with support from, GreenCape, SARETEC, DGS Berlin, and the German International Cooperation (GIZ). “Once the national curriculum was approved and registered, SAPVIA with the support of merSETA developed a 1-week training course tailored to PV installers in the market. This workshop was the first step in introducing that qualification to the training institutions.”

Solar PV has become increasingly popular in the residential, commercial and industrial market segment over the last several years, yet the industry remains largely unregulated. The PV GreenCard has been developed to serve as a national standardized “as built report” that should be issued with every small-scale Solar PV installation.

“At the moment we are seeing the residential, commercial, and industrial sector growing at about 5MW per month, and this will rise significantly as soon as the new small-scale embedded generation regulations are finalised. As a result we have shifted our focus more towards the development of the rooftop market over the last two years” says Levington.

Once a PV GreenCard certified installer completes a new rooftop system, customers will be issued with an electronic PV GreenCard document. This e-document will confirm that the installer has complied with all relevant standards in the field of PV system design and installation. Accredited installers will also be added to a SAPVIA-approve PV installer database.

The PV GreenCard will be formally launched in early May.

SAPVIA can be contacted on:
Kim Thomas 021 200 5856
Mike Levington (Deputy Chair): 082 770 1036
Davin Chown (Chairperson): 0834603898

SAPVIA represents 172 member organisations in the solar PV industry spanning technical service providers, installer, EPC companies, financiers, developers, utilities and IPP’s.

Click here to download a copy the full statement.