“Cheap shot” at big solar: Industry slams Queensland rule change

This article was originally published by Renew Economy on the 11th April 2019 by Sophie Vorrath. Read the full article here.

Solar developers have slammed Queensland government plans to tighten regulations around panel installation large PV projects as a “cheap shot” at the stunning growth of the big solar sector in the state, and say it will make many commercial installations unfeasible.

The Labor Palaszczuk government confirmed on Tuesday that a new rule allowing only licensed electricians to mount, locate, fix or remove solar panels on projects of 100kW and above would become law in the state on May 13.

Huon Hoogesteger, the founder and CEO of Smart Commercial Solar [said]

“This move is not about safety,” he told One Step. “This is about slowing down solar to the benefit of other industries.”

“The idea that lifting things into place is an electrician’s job, is absurd,” he added.

Of the minister’s comments about solar panels becoming “live” under sunlight, Hoogesteger says this is technically correct, but emphasises that they are live at “very low voltage” – little more than a car battery – and are safe because of the type of connector that eliminates any conductors from human touch.

“Only once they are connected together in long strings and cabling is ready for connection to terminals is when the work is technically (already) meant to be done by electricians,” he said.