Energy Safe Victoria focuses on renewable energy safety

Rooftop solar installer (renewable safety)
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Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) has announced its nine compliance and enforcement priorities for the 2022-23 financial year, continuing its focus on the safety of renewable energy.

Each year, ESV releases a list of regulatory priorities it intends to emphasise over the following 12 months. With the uptake of renewable energy certain to increase, four of the nine priorities focus on this area.

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The fire at Moorabool’s Victoria’s Big Battery site in August 2021 increased awareness of the potential safety issues associated with utility scale battery energy storage systems.

ESV is committed to the oversight of utility scale battery energy storage systems, specifically the expectations of developers and operators in demonstrating they are designed and operated safely.

The energy safety regulator takes the same approach in relation to utility-scale solar and wind farm installations, both new and old.

If developers and operators fail to comply with their compliance obligations, they will find themselves subject to regulatory action, which could include prosecution, directions and infringements.

ESV is acting to ensure that the decarbonisation of the Victorian gas network is achieved without compromising public safety.

As hydrogen and other renewable gas projects develop, ESV will only accept safety cases, safety management plans and construction safety management plans thatmanage and mitigate risks in accordance with required legislation.

ESV will focus attention on new electricity transmission infrastructure that supports renewable energy to ensure it is managed in accordance with an accepted Electrical Safety Management Scheme from design to decommissioning.

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Finally, ESV’s compliance and enforcement activities in the electrical, gas and pipeline sectors will pay particular attention to vegetation clearance around powerlines, licensed electrical work, energy network strikes, pipeline encroachments and gas and electrical appliance safety.

ESV, the state’s energy safety regulator, is responsible for licensing electrical workers, issuing and auditing Certificates of Electrical Safety, investigating energy-related safety incidents, ensuring gas and electrical appliances, infrastructure and installations are safe.