‘Are solar panels worth it?’ ‘What are the advantages of solar panels?’ Solar Panel ROI and the overall pro's of solar panels are the most important considerations our clients have when inquiring with InPower.

We unpack these questions and look at a real-life case study at an installation we completed in Noordhoek.

“It makes absolutely no financial sense to keep paying for a resource like electricity that you can in fact generate for yourself with an asset that adds tremendous value to your property…”

Solar energy in South Africa

South Africa is an ideal candidate for solar power generation. The country's geographical location and climate create an excellent environment for solar panels to thrive, maximising their energy production potential. With ample sunlight throughout the year, harnessing solar energy can significantly reduce dependence on traditional electricity sources and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Portable inverters are highly versatile. Their lightweight and compact design make them easy to move around, which can be helpful when moving homes. Their stable, clean power is beneficial for safeguarding sensitive electronic devices like computers, televisions, smartphones. Additionally, inverters operate quietly making them ideal in a residential area.  

Cost of Solar Panels

Many would-be solar panel users have been discouraged by the upfront cost of installation. Fortunately, InPower offers a home solar finance solution, tailored to your financial capabilities and the solar system best suited to your home. However, over the past decade, the cost of solar panels has seen a dramatic decline, making them more affordable than ever before. To encourage the installation of solar, in an effort to reduce strain on the electric grid, government incentives, grants, and tax rebates have been announced. These incentives can significantly offset the installation costs and shorten the payback period of your solar panel investment.

After a NERSA approved tariff increase, the cost of electricity provided by the national provider is at an all time high of R2.779 p/kWh per household. In comparison, the cost of solar in populated areas such as Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town ranges between R0.9/Kwh and R2.7/Kwh. 

Energy Savings and Solar Panel Return on Investment (ROI)

Solar installation offers long-term energy savings. Generating electricity from sunlight means drastically reducing or even eliminating reliance on grid electricity. As utility prices continue to rise, savings from solar energy will become more substantial over time.

The payback period for residential and commercial solar installations often ranges between 5 and 10 years, and the system continues to function effectively for decades after that.

Noordhoek Manor Retirement Village and their Solar Investment

Noordhoek Manor is a luxury retirement village bordering the Silvermine Nature Reserve. Equipped with world-class facilities, including a clubhouse, with a lounge, dining room, bar facilities, fully equipped gym and an enclosed heated swimming pool, the village also boasts an onsite healthcare facility. <link to: faircapelifesite>

Each unit in the village also has access to future-proof fibre optic cabling and fibre internet is available on request.

With the increase in loadshedding in 2023, the village wanted to ensure that common areas were not affected. The village management prides itself on ensuring that retirement living at the village remains uninterrupted. Because of this, the decision was made to install solar panels to cover the critical load for both, the healthcare facility and the common areas.

The motivation to install solar at Noordhoek Manor

With the varied and continual changes in load shedding stages, the motivation to install solar panels was obvious; the advantage of a continuous power supply. For any large-scale commercial property this is; resilience during loadshedding, predictable energy costs, a high solar panel return on investment, and adding value to the property.

Solar Power Resilience and Predictable Energy Costs

Solar Panels are worth it!
Over time, the financial gains supersede the initial investment. The fixed and predictable nature of solar power production protects residents from sharp and unexpected increases in utility costs. InPower’s solar power systems are geared toward maximising any investment made in renewable energy.
With the addition of battery storage, a solar power system provides a reliable source of electricity. Power resilience ensures the continued operation of essential services.

Adding Value to the Noordhoek Manor Brand
The installation of solar at Noordhoek Manor has increased its sustainability. The village is eco-friendly and focused on harnessing its resources. Solar energy is a renewable source of power. This is an added benefit to the operations at the village and an attraction to potential residents who are interested in living in a sustainable environment.

Noordhoek Manor Solar Panel Installation
The solar panel installation at Noordhoek Manor was significant. The energy needs of the village included the need to power common areas during load shedding. The system powers the Noordhoek Manor Healthcare, Clubhouse, and restaurant, including all kitchen appliances, and the common areas and amenities; security guardhouse, borehole pumps, swimming pool (pool pump and heat pump), and street lights.

Size and components of the solar panel installation

The total size of the system - 201kWp with 160kWh battery backup

The components in the system are:

  • 4x Inverter sunsynk 50kW
  • 4x freedom won lite 40kWh high-voltage lithium-ion
  • 202.5 kWP, 427 panels

Solar system performance

In it’s first operational month at Noordhoek Manor, the system saved a total of R83 286.02 on the electricity bill. Even with loadshedding, the village had no interruptions to operations. Because the battery backup system covers the village for more than 4 hours, and the solar photovoltaic panels recharge the units, no energy was taken from the grid to charge the battery.
The projected solar production for the month of November was 36.03 MW. The solar system generated 30.9MW. Of this, 4.78MW was stored in the batteries and discharged during power outages.

Abundant sunlight, decreasing installation costs, and numerous government incentives make solar energy an attractive option for homeowners and businesses. Solar installations also offer long-term savings, as demonstrated by the installation at Noordhoek Manor. The installation at the village has ensured that operations remain unaffected by load shedding. By using solar energy, the village benefits from significant energy savings, a good return on investment, and the creation of a greener, more sustainable place to call home

Are solar panels worth it?

Abundant sunlight, decreasing installation costs, and numerous government incentives make solar energy an attractive option for homeowners and businesses alike. The financial investment is worthwhile, and with InPower’s residential solar finance offering, it is even more affordable.  By using solar energy, you can benefit from significant energy savings, a good return on investment, and the creation of a greener, more sustainable future country. Contact us to find out how!