Government allows solar installation in Covid lockdown, industry to abide by safety protocols

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The new guidelines were issued as Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared an extension of the lockdown in India till May 3, 2020, along with the opening of certain industrial activities in a bid to provide relief to labourers and daily wage earners. Transportation of goods is also permitted without any distinction of essential or non-essential.

Solar developers have hailed the government’s move to resume installation, ensuring their compliance with safety protocols as outlined by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Speaking to pv magazine, Amp Energy India CEO Pinaki Bhattacharyya said, “Start of construction activity is a respite for the renewable energy industry because stalled RE projects were adversely affecting project developers and also hampering new capacity additions.”

“The casual labour class involved in construction activities that have been left unemployed due to the lockdown will no longer lose wages, and that is a positive development. As a company, we are ensuring that any daily wage labour stranded at the sites are provided resources like food, supplies and wages during this period.”

Bhattacharyya, however, stressed on a cautious approach. “Developers need to exercise utmost caution if they resume work during the national lockdown. It may be prudent to start once the situation is controlled and transportation services resume,” he said adding “it is yet to be seen if all the states implement these guidelines and in what manner.”

Amplus Solar Founder and CEO Sanjeev Aggarwal said, “The government’s step to allow resuming the construction of renewable energy projects is a welcoming move in favour of the renewable industry. We will be utilising the opportunity well while being extremely cautious at the same time. We must take necessary precautions at the site, maintain a safe working environment, keeping social distancing and sanitation a priority.”