Morning Brief: Power plants part of nation’s critical infrastructure, staff to remain onsite for weeks, months

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U.S. electric utilities and other energy companies are preparing to have key personnel remain at power plants and operations centers to ensure the facilities remain online during the coronavirus pandemic. The federal government considers power plants part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 19 issued guidance to government and business officials about activating measures to protect critical staff members from COVID-19. Industry trade groups, including Edison Electric Institute, which represents the nation’s investor-owned utilities, on March 20 said facilities have been stockpiling supplies, include portable beds and food, to enable staff to remain onsite for weeks if not months. Source: Power Magazine

The business of putting solar panels on homes is being severely damaged by the coronavirus crisis, especially in states that are requiring residents to shelter in place and solar workers to stay away. Customers are canceling contracts, permitting has slowed as local agencies have gone remote, and sales have ground to a halt as in-person visits become taboo, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a trade group. Layoffs are also spreading. SEIA has been highlighting these plights to Congress in a bid to get relief for solar companies as an enormous aid package comes together. Source: E&E News

A report from the European Association for Storage of Energy demonstrates the European market grew by a total of 1 GWh in 2019, a significant slow-down compared to 2018. Front-of-meter installations slowed dramatically in 2019, while residential behind-the-meter capacity was the fastest growing market segment. Source: Smart Energy International

CIP to purchase stake in 440 MW solar PV project in Texas. Plus Renewable Technologies has signed an agreement with Avondale Solar to sell their stake in Fighting Jays Solar, a 440 MW solar PV project in Fort Bend County, Texas. It is being sold to an affiliate of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP). Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. CIP senior partner Christian Skakkebaek said: “We are excited to be involved in Fighting Jays Solar, which is strategically located in the fastest growing load pocket in ERCOT. Source: Power Technology

 

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