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Expert Profiles: Residential Solar and Storage Market in South Africa

February 2, 2019
Mike Callis
Expert 1
Relevant Biography
  • Independent Consultant – Worked in the South African and regional energy sector since 1994.
  • Has advised South African Government and the Regulator on energy sector transformation.
  • Undertaken regional (including South African) energy market opportunity studies.
  • Implemented the first off-grid supply solutions to rural communities in SA for the DME, now DOE, in the early 2000’s.
  • Familiar with SA energy sector regulatory requirements.
  • Keen interest in battery storage for power systems, grid and off grid.

    Expert 2
    Relevant Biography
    Expert has over a decade of in-depth work experience in the clean energy industry and has been based in South Africa for 9 of those years. His work has ranged from a solar plus storage product strategy in Africa for a solar PV/battery manufacturer, to working with government on enabling regulations for the distributed generation sector.

    Since founding his own consulting company in 2010, the Expert has worked with leading clean-tech companies and managed a number of energy studies across the continent. Projects have included tariff studies, renewable energy policy, solar market entry strategy, energy economics, forecasting, market overviews, and legislative/regulatory reforms in various countries.

    Other background: Expert obtained an Energy Systems Engineering B.S. degree at Stanford University; and also volunteers in his spare time to run an education and sports non-profit for children in South Africa.


    Expert 3
    Relevant Biography
    Expert has been the Director of Off Grid Tech company CC for approaching a decade. As Project Developer and EPC, his business specializes in Rooftop Solar PV grid-tide and off-grid solutions, Maintenance Services and Support to Industrial, Office Parks and Residential Developments.

    In 2012 Expert completed Market Study for KACO new energy GmbH on the South African Solar PV Market.

    Since 2012, Expert has personally commissioned more than 55MW of Solar PV Grid-tie inverters (String Inverters). This is a major accomplishment in Africa. His company also specializes in Battery Backup Power Solutions. Furthermore, he provides consultation, system design, engineering services, installation and maintenance of Renewable Energy Projects; and is involved in Business Development for the Solar PV Industry.

    Expert knowledge and experience Rooftop Solar PV Systems, Mini Grid/ Off grid Hybrid Systems and small to large scale Battery Storage Systems. He has been actively involved in Solar Farms, Residential and Commercial projects, remote farms, Villages, Telecom sites, VSAT Systems and Office Buildings.

    Expert’s business does Solar PV consultation and feasibility studies for clients on Energy savings and efficiency with regards to roof mount/ground mount grid-tie Solar, on-Grid Solar systems with Storage, off-grid and backup systems during Grid failures. Expert has an extensive knowledge and contact base with regards to Solar PV Modules, Inverters, batteries and BoP manufacturers. He has been actively involved in the South African REFIT Program, supplying advice and provide technical assistance to EPC’s and IPP’s with regards to Solar PV farms.


    Expert 4
    Relevant Biography
    Expert has 7 years of experience in the South African Solar market.

    He is currently the owner of a company that provides Solar PV and battery system design and engineering services to the solar & electrical sector. The business specialises in PV Grid-Tied, Off-Grid, Mini Grid and backup solutions.

    Expert has been working for a battery inverter manufacturer for the past 5 years, and has been responsible for the whole northern region of South Africa – 150 resellers and installers – so has a good understanding of the market.


    Expert 5
    Relevant Biography
    Expert is an experienced Solar PV specialist, with over a decade of experience in the South African solar market.

    He worked as a sales engineer at Tenesol (Sunpower) in Cape Town, offering solar PV solutions for rural electrification, solar pumping, telecommunications, hybrid mini-grids and utility scale power plants. He had further PV experience on Utility scale projects with Soitec Solar; and has worked for other PV module suppliers including Yingli and Renesola.

    Expert was involved in the steering committee establishing Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) as well as the 2014/2015 Board where he served as treasurer.


    Expert 6
    Relevant Biography
    Expert is a South African national who currently owns and manages his own business, which provides power and power saving solutions to residences and businesses, including: solar and heat pump water heating and solar PV (with and without storage). Expert is Certified as a Renewable Energy Professional with the Association of Energy Engineer – member since 2017. Expert has a passion for renewables and believes they are at the brink of rapid expansion in South Africa.

    Prior to transition to renewables, Expert trained as a Mechanical Engineer; Worked for Eskom, the South African utility (1992-1999); And spent 15 years with BHP Biliton in various management roles in the Aluminium and Energy Coal divisions (1999-2014).


    Expert 7
    Relevant Biography
    Expert is an experienced engineer and technical manager with 15+ years of experience in renewable energy and energy efficiency. He led teams modelling the world’s most efficient net-zero energy buildings and creating first-to-market PAYG meters for the off-grid solar industry. His research includes novel battery condition monitoring algorithms, and the economics of islanded mini-grids.

    He is currently managing the product and technology for a provider of advanced energy-storage solutions for the African market. Company was previously developing a Powerwall type battery storage product, but development has been halted, so is eligible to consult.

    5 years based in South Africa; 7 years in Solar and Storage.


    Expert 8
    Relevant Biography
    • 10 years’ Solar experience (Expert is the Director of a business that has been in solar PV solutions since 2009), with a focus on grid tied system like commercial rooftops, carport and ground mounted systems varying from 100KWp to 100MWp.
    • Has a lot of experience in battery storage installations throughout Southern Africa.
    • At the end of June 2018, Expert’s company successfully installed at total of 4,4MWp solar PV installations.
    • Has a passion for ‘off grid’ installations.
    • Project orientated with the capability to handle small, medium and large Solar (PV) Power plants and installations.
    • Specialises in SMA Invertors and relevant products from Germany for medium to large installations.
    • Core business is that of supply, installation, reticulation, repairs & maintenance of all Solar (PV) and Electrical related systems (focus on low to medium voltage systems).


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