Australia’s fast-growing renewable sector is driving job creation. The latest analysis from Green Energy Markets reveals that almost 15,700 people were employed in large scale renewable development in Australia in December 2017, with a further 5,477 full-time jobs in rooftop solar.
New South Wales’ largest large scale solar project has reached financial close, with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) stepping in to provide debt finance for the project. The two organisations have now worked together to develop 260 MW of renewables in regional NSW.
Another big utility scale project solar project has taken a step forward in Queensland. The Munna Creek Solar Farm, which is the only project currently being proposed by REST Energy, was approved this week and welcomed by local Mayor as “fantastic news”.
Victorian homebuilder Porter Davis has announced its plans to equip 50 new knockdown rebuild homes in Victoria with the Bradford Solar ChargePack, which comes with free solar panels and a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery, offering a chance to new home owners to insulate their households against rising power prices.
Australia’s rooftop PV market has never been stronger. After a record-setting 2017, in which over 1.08 GW of rooftop PV was installed, 2018 is set to see that score surpassed at worst and “smashed” at best. Underpinning the world-leading distributed market segment is the perfect storm of five factors, combining to drive residential and C&I solar adoption.
STC registrations reveal that 1.08 GW of residential PV and small-scale C&I solar was installed in 2017. The figure surpasses the previous record of 944 MW, which was achieved in 2012 when high feed-in tariffs drove demand.
SolarReserve’s 150 MW solar thermal power plant has been granted development approval by the South Australian Government, paving the way for construction to begin this year.
Data from the Clean Energy Regulator shows that Australia is nearing two million installed rooftop PV systems, having reached 1,778,687 as of the beginning of December 2017.
The rapid build out of a large pipeline of utility scale PV projects around Australia could stretch the experienced installation labour force, threatening quality. Solar industry veteran and the Managing Director of PI Berlin Lars Podlowski made the warning as the company expands into Australia through its acquisition of quality assurance provider SolarBuyer.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is continuing to foster utility scale PV growth in Queensland, providing $55 million in non-recourse project finance to the Oakey 2 Solar Farm. Canadian Solar will supply modules for the project and will also serve as EPC.
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