New solar laws land in the Supreme Court
A QUEENSLAND solar farm is bracing for its budget to balloon by more than $2.6 million because of the Palaszczuk Government's controversial new regulations, court documents have revealed.
Maryrorough Solar Pty Ltd expects the regulations will cause delays to its Brigalow Solar Farm, near Pittsworth on the southern Darling Downs, where about 60 licensed electricians now need to be employed.
Maryrorough is currently challenging the regulations in the Queensland Supreme Court.
The regulations, which rolled out statewide on May 13, allow only licensed and apprentice electricians to locate, mount, fix or remove solar panels on projects larger than 100kW.
According to Maryrorough's director Lane Crockett's affidavit, the project's fixed contract price was negotiated on the grounds "the location, mounting and fixing of modules by the contractor would be performed by approximately 60 labourers who would not be licensed electrical workers for the purposes of the electrical safety act 2002 Qld."
Earlier this month, the project's contractor informed Mr Crockett the increased costs "as a consequence of the amendment regulation" were around $2,626,000.
As part of the claim, Master Electricians Australia CEO Malcolm Richards also provided an affidavit.
Mr Richards, who's been a licensed electrician since 1987 and who worked for Ergon between 1983 to 1999, claimed the "Maxpower CS6U-3309" solar panel to be installed at the farm, is not a piece of electrical equipment because it's classed as "extra low voltage."
The regulations have been widely slammed by the renewables industry, with the Clean Energy Council claiming the laws were rushed and would risk delaying the State Government's 50 per cent renewable energy target that it's aiming to achieve by 2030.
However Energy Minister Anthony Lynham yesterday told The Courier-Mail the Government's 50 per cent commitment was "solid and we are on target."
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace reiterated the Government was confident of the validity of its regulations and will defend them in court.
The matter will be heard in the Supreme Court today.