While coal still dominates the South African energy mix, renewable energy is increasingly being explored such as solar energy, which currently contributes 558 MW to the national grid. As a signatory to the Paris Agreement, South Africa has to shift from high carbon coal emitting towards renewable energy, to reduce carbon emissions and support measures to address climate change. The efficient and effective operation of solar power plants will contribute to this shift and enable increasing use of renewable, solar powered energy.
Solar power plant technicians work alongside supervisors and other plant personnel to assess equipment operating systems. They carry out numerous inspections of the power plant throughout the day and may be exposed to hazardous equipment and situations.
Solar power plant technicians need a technical knowledge of the generation and production of solar energy and understand plant health and safety regulations, coupled with:
Operate and control power generating systems and equipment
Monitor equipment performance, taking corrective action if needed
Maintain station records, logs and reports
Clean, maintain and perform repairs on power plant equipment
Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Electrical Engineering specialising in Process Control at CPUT, MUT, VUT and WSU
Solar power plant technicians can also benefit from a National Certificate in Electrical Engineering at National Qualifications Framework Level 2 to 4 at most Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges. However, most training takes place on the job with mentoring by an experienced technician.
Public power utilities.
Private solar power companies.