Solar power and battery backup company Metrowatt recently opened its first walk-in solar centre, based in Parkhurst, Johannesburg.
It says the centre allows consumers to interact directly with energy professionals, experts and consultants, and gain insight into alternative energy solutions suited to their needs.
Metrowatt is a distributor of solar products and alternative energy solutions, such as batteries and inverters.
The company offers customers the option to buy new solar products for their homes or businesses, and also has an offering where customers can rent solar products over a period of time for a fixed fee.
During an interview with ITWeb at the launch, Metrowatt CEO David Neale noted the idea to open the centre was inspired by the massive increase in the adoption of solar energy systems and products, as more locals look to mitigate load-shedding.
“The uptake of solar solutions has been astronomical, and we see more homes using solar electricity and generating their own electricity in future. This venture into the Parkhurst community with our solar centre is an exciting milestone for us.”
According to Neale, Parkhurst was chosen as the location of the solar centre because it has a close-knit community and a history of neighbourhood collaboration, which aligns with Metrowatt's values.
The centre gives customers a place to figure out the best solar solution for their homes or business. It also helps them to learn how to derive optimal savings from solar power, and access customised alternative energy solutions suited to their needs, he added.
Government currently offers a rebate of 25% on the cost of new and unused solar panels, up to a maximum of R15 000, and Neale said customers have taken advantage of the initiative.
“We've seen a lot of interest stemming from this tax incentive. We've even seen customers who deployed systems a few years ago, coming back and adding solar panels to their systems because of these additional incentives.”
Metrowatt plans to open retail spaces across the country. It is a subsidiary of the Myriad Capital Group, which has its origins in the telecommunications sector.
Speaking to ITWeb on how it got involved in solar energy, Myriad Capital group CEO Greg Wilson said when the ongoing energy crisis in SA began, the company identified opportunities in the commercial solar space.
“We realised there are a lot of parallels to our telecommunications background and that people are trying to solve their load-shedding challenges. But, going forward, it's going to be a lot more important to connect these systems together, and make sure we can have centralised control to actually help with the overall grid, stabilise the grid, and look at how do we feed back into the overall community.”
Venturing into the solar energy space was made easier for Metrowatt due to its longstanding partnership with Chinese telecoms company Huawei, stated Wilson.
Myriad partnered with Huawei to make solar products available to the South African market, including Huawei’s Power-S, which focuses on providing backup power to residential properties, and the Power-M, which supplies businesses and industrial properties with backup power.
The Metrowatt solar centre is open Monday to Saturday from 9am till 5pm and is situated on Fourth Avenue in Parkhurst.