Renewable Energy: SSEG

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Small Scale Embedded Generator (SSEG) Information

Knysna Municipality is allowing Small-Scale solar PV Embedded Generators (SSEG) to connect to the distribution grid or network.

This document provides information on which systems are allowed to connect and how to go about applying for permission to install such system, as well as other general information on SSEG in the municipality.

What is a solar PV Small-Scale Embedded Generator (SSEG) system?

A Solar PV Embedded Generator is a solar-electricity (PV) generator that is connected to the electricity distribution grid through a grid-synchronising inverter (which converts the DC solar power to AC power). If a system is connected to the wiring on your premises which is connected to the distribution network, this is still a grid-connected, or embedded generator.

Systems generating up to 1MVA or 1MW are called Small-Scale Embedded Generators (SSEG). Solar PV is the main technology type used as an SSEG, however wind, biogas electricity, hydropower and diesel generators connected to the municipal grid are forms of SSEG. This document only covers solar PV SSEG.

Can I install a PV SSEG system without permission from the municipality?

No. National legislation (NRS097-2-3:2023) prohibits the connection of SSEG systems to the municipal grid (even if it is on the customer’s side of the distribution board) without specific written permission from the municipality. This application shall be undertaken by both Grid-tied and Off-grid PV systems. The municipality is obliged to disconnect customers from the municipal grid if they have unapproved, illegal systems.

How do I apply for permission to install a PV SSEG system?

The application form and the ‘Guidelines on how apply for SSEG in Knysna Municipality’ is available from Electrical and Mechanical Department offices or email Lindikhaya Williams (SSEG Project leader) The guidelines provide additional information and the department should be consulted when completing the application for SSEG installation. Those customers who have already install the PV system must declare and apply to the municipality.

Do I need permission to install a solar PV system that is not connected to the municipal grid?

Permission from the Electricity department is not necessary for the off-grid systems, but the customer must declare to the municipality (note that if it is connected to the distribution network on the premises, this is a grid-tied or embedded generator).

Which SSEG systems are allowed?

Systems need to comply with a range of technical criteria to be approved by the municipality. This ensures that safety and power quality problems on the grid are avoided (for example inverters must be certified according to the NRS097-2-1 standard and systems need to comply with NRS097-2-3:2023 criteria). Systems over 350kVA generation capacity may be asked to undertake detailed studies before being further considered by the municipality. Systems above 350kVA must be registered with NERSA before being considered by the municipality.

Contact SSEG Project Leader:

Mr Lindikhaya Williams
Telephone: +27 (044) 302 6484


7 Available for download