South African industries are navigating an evolving energy landscape, seeking solutions that offer resilience, sustainability and economic benefits. In this regard, solar microgrids emerge as a compelling option, providing certain advantages over traditional power sources. Let’s dig into why solar microgrids are gaining traction and how they can revolutionise the energy consumption for industrial facilities.

Batteries vs. Generators: A Power Struggle

The energy storage debate often centres on batteries versus generators. Generators are typically cheaper to install, but more expensive to run on a long-term, high-usage basis. For lower stages of load shedding (stages 1 & 2), generators are the best option due to their relative cost-effectiveness. On the other hand, higher stages of sustained load shedding, such as stage 3 and above, call for a different approach. Battery-supported solutions become more advantageous in these scenarios, offering several benefits, including lower operational costs, quieter operation, reduced environmental impact and faster response times during power cuts.

South Africa’s sunny days not only provide surplus energy but also extend the “solar” day when the grid remains stable. Solar microgrids enable industrial facilities to capture and efficiently store this excess energy, maximising the use of solar power. This stored energy becomes a valuable asset during high-demand periods or grid challenges, ensuring that businesses can rely on self-generated power and capture the most value from their solar energy. 

Moreover, by reducing reliance on exporting surplus power to the grid, which typically results in lower returns compared to grid purchases, stored energy allows businesses to optimise cost savings and achieve greater energy independence.

Resilience and Sustainability is why South African Industries should invest in Solar Energy Storage.

Sustainability Beyond Savings: How Solar Power Enhances Your Corporate Image

Adopting solar microgrids aligns with sustainability goals, showcasing a commitment to clean energy and environmental responsibility. Beyond cost savings, this enhances the corporate image, appealing to environmentally conscious consumers and stakeholders.

Reliable Electricity for Businesses and Communities

One of the standout advantages of solar microgrids is their capacity to provide uninterrupted electricity to businesses and communities. By adopting solar microgrids, industrial facilities and local businesses establish themselves as reliable energy hubs. This not only ensures continuous operation and protects sensitive equipment but also safeguards jobs and productivity. For communities, a stable energy supply reduces dependence on centralised power sources and fosters sustainable development.

Solar microgrids provide businesses with affordability and independence from the grid, reducing the impact of grid failures or load shedding. This autonomy becomes essential for industries where uninterrupted power is a necessity. While energy from the grid remains affordable, businesses opting to build their microgrids prioritise greater control over their energy supply. With the decreasing costs of batteries and hybrid inverters, the affordability of self-produced electricity becomes comparable to grid-supplied electricity, making energy autonomy an increasingly viable choice.

Navigating Legal Red-Tape: Eskom’s Microgrid Initiatives

While legal complexities can present challenges, the recent commissioning of Eskom’s third microgrid at the Swartkop Dam marks a shift. This demonstrates a growing openness to innovative energy solutions within the utility sector. Furthermore, many local municipalities are also embracing this transition, with several creating their own Small Scale Embedded Generator (SSEG) processes and bolstering capacity in their electrical departments to streamline approvals. Additionally, advancements in industry expertise and service providers have led to more robust microgrid systems and enhanced safety measures, further supporting the adoption of solar microgrids across various sectors.


South African industrial facilities stand at the forefront of a transformative energy landscape. Solar microgrids, with their efficient energy storage, resilience, and sustainability benefits, offer a path to energy independence. As Eskom pioneers microgrid projects, the momentum towards solar energy storage solutions is set to grow, shaping a more sustainable and resilient future for South African industries.

Interested in financing solar PV systems and creating a microgrid for your business?
Contact the Broadreach Energy team, today!

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