ESV blitzes solar installations
Responding to increased activity following the changes to restrictions as part of the Third Step of the Roadmap for Recovery, ESV is carrying out a weekend blitz of solar installation work across Victoria.
The ESV Renewable Energy Team carries out field based audits of solar system installations to verify licensing of workers, effective supervision of workers and apprentices, and technical compliance.
As part of the weekend blitz, ESV has inspected 50 sites over the last three weekends and will continue. The blitz has found that compliance is high although enforcement action was taken for:
- two instances of unlicensed work,
- one instance of a system left energised before verification by an inspection.
In all three of these instances an infringement notice ranging up to $4000 will be issued.
The weekend blitz is an extension of usual field auditing program and ESV complements compliance activities carried out through the working week.
Overall, industry are meeting their obligations by ensuring appropriate licensing, supervision and compliance.
The top issues discussed included:
- DC connectors: the importance of correctly match connectors this must be the same make connectors
- Apprentice supervision: understanding what your apprentice can and can’t do
- What work is licensed work: non-licensed workers, often referred to as a trades assistants, can fetch and carry tools and materials, erect solar panel support frames, attach panels if ELV (less than 120V d.c. ) and other mechanical tasks. They cannot install, attach or connect cables or wiring associated with PV modules, inverters or earthing systems.
- Energising PV systems: Systems upon installation and commissioning must be left in the off position, after completion the system can only be energised after it has been inspected and certified by a licensed electrical inspector.
ESV and WorkSafe have developed a safety guide for installing PV systems.