The Clean Energy Council held its inaugural Large-scale Solar Industry Forum in Brisbane on 11 May.

The Forum, which was the clean energy sector’s first dedicated large-scale solar technical conference, was an overwhelming success, with more than 300 engineers and specialists in attendance and tickets selling out well in advance of the event.

Queensland was the logical location for the Forum as it has cemented its place as the leading proponent of large-scale solar in Australia. Construction is now underway on 14 solar projects in the state, which will be worth close to $2 billion in 2017, create at least 1570 direct jobs and produce more than 800 MW of new clean energy generating capacity. And all this is in addition to its position as the leader in rooftop solar installations.

The Large-scale Solar Industry Forum welcomed a fantastic array of speakers from across the industry, who discussed the opportunities and challenges currently facing the large-scale solar sector. Some of the major topics addressed over the course of the day included grid connection and integration, resources assessment and design and construction and operations. It was also great to see such strong female representation, with women making up approximately 20 per cent of delegates and eight of the 22 speakers.

Large-scale solar has experienced a meteoric rise recently, with costs falling by half in just the last few years. This drastic price reduction has been driven by the federal Renewable Energy Target (RET), support from state governments, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and billions of dollars in private investment.

The future is certainly looking bright for large-scale solar.

Presentations from the event are now available on the Clean Energy Council’s website.