Scatec Solar: ‘Too early to predict’ COVID-19 impacts on project completion timelines

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Image: Getty.

Scatec Solar said it remains too early to predict any potential impact on solar project completion dates from the COVID-19 outbreak while standing by its Q1 2020 power production forecasts.

Yesterday (25 March 2020) the Norwegian independent power producer (IPP) issued an update to the market, stating that it is experiencing a limited impact on its operating solar plants from the ongoing virus crisis engulfing global economies.

Equinor-backed Scatec Solar said that it has yet to experience any impact on operational assets,  adding it was still “too early to predict” any potential impact on the completion dates of assets it has under construction.

All solar PV projects undertaken by Scatec Solar are close to completion, the company said, but constraints on travel and strict enforcement of new regulations – such as lockdown measures – taken locally have started to impact on the construction, commissioning and testing of such projects, the company said.

As the COVID-19 virus has expanded throughout Asia, Europe and the US, numerous countries have moved to enforce strict lockdowns to prevent the virus from spreading further. As a result, workers are being prevented from both working and travelling as normal.

Ongoing production and maintenance of solar plants is, however, relatively unaffected, with most economies deeming power generation as critical infrastructure and, by extension, relevant employees have been considered essential or key workers. Yesterday also saw solar trade associations in Spain and Australia call for the industry to be granted ‘essential’ status amidst tightening lockdown restrictions.

Scatec Solar said it was taking precautionary measures at all of its working locations to limit the virus’ spread, to keep its employees safe and to ensure the stable operations of its plants.

“As electricity production is a necessity in both normal and extraordinary times, we as a company are shielded from some of the negative effects many other businesses are facing.

“However, we all have a joint responsibility to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, to protect the health of our employees, their families and society at large. At the same time, we are implementing all necessary measures to ensure continued delivery of much needed power to our customers,” Raymond Carlsen, chief executive at Scatec Solar, said.

PV Tech has set up a tracker to map out how the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting solar supply chains worldwide. You can read the latest updates here.

If you have a COVID-19 statement to share or a story on how the pandemic is disrupting a solar business anywhere in the world, do get in touch at jrojo@solarmedia.co.uk or lstoker@solarmedia.co.uk.

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