Queensland is poised to become the largest solar state in the world when the state gets a third of the nation’s installed capacity in the next few years, the company behind the program has revealed.
The solar power company, called SolarCity, said it had installed about 50,000 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity in Queensland in the past 12 months.
SolarCity has now installed about 30,000 MW of solar in Queensland.
“The market is very strong, and the demand for solar in the state has gone up a lot over the past couple of years,” SolarCity chief executive Greg Wyler said.
“And it’s really been driven by the government’s investment in solar, the Queensland government’s commitment to renewable energy and the fact that we are now starting to see the technology mature and we are beginning to see companies actually getting started.”
The state is the fourth largest solar market in the nation behind Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, with about 20GW of installed capacity, Mr Wyler added.
“That’s why we are seeing this huge jump in the number of new installations,” he said.
Solar PV capacity has grown to more than 1GW since SolarCity began operating in Queensland more than a decade ago.
“We’re seeing a lot of growth in the market, particularly in Queensland, particularly for rooftop solar, because of the government support and the policies that have been put in place,” Mr Wylers said.
A large portion of that growth is from large rooftop solar installations, he said, which are not currently subject to the state’s rooftop photovoltaic (PV) incentive scheme.
“But as we grow that, we’ll see the incentive increase as well,” Mr Wysler said, adding that there were about 700 large rooftop installations in Queensland today.
“It’s a great time for Queensland.
It’s really going to be a boom for the state.”
SolarCity said its solar power would be sold at a competitive price and that it would be able to sell its electricity to other utilities, businesses and governments.
“This is a great opportunity for Queensland to get back to a more competitive pricing structure that allows the state to benefit from the increased generation,” Mr Nylander said.
He said it would also allow SolarCity to expand its network of rooftop solar in other areas of the state.
“SolarCity will be able leverage the large solar capacity across the state, which is great for the business community in Queensland,” he added.
The company has been contracted by the Queensland Government to build the first solar power plant in the Queensland town of Tauranga, which was designed to be the state capital’s biggest solar power installation in history.
Solar City is not the first company to enter the state solar market, but it is the largest company to have entered it.
“Queensland is really, really well positioned to be ahead of the curve in terms of the growth of the market and the number and size of companies that are building solar in this state,” Mr Wynberg said.