Although New York’s PAUSE order halting all “non-essential” business including solar is still in effect until May 15, NYSEIA continues to make the case that solar construction should be deemed essential and treated the same as general construction during the phased reopening. NYSERDA is coordinating with other agencies on standards, meaning solar construction could open up with the same PPE, guidance and regional approach as general construction, according to NYSEIA.
NYSEIA has been advocating for single-worker tasks on remote open-air sites (such as surveying and wetlands delineation) to resume under the PAUSE. So far there has been no response on this point from the Executive Chamber. NYSEIA will continue to push for this type of work to be allowed in any regions that do not return to full solar construction during Phase 1 of the reopening.
Developing safe procedures
NYSERDA has indicated that a restart of projects participating in its programs will be contingent upon companies abiding by proper safety measures.
NYSEIA is collaborating with NYSERDA to aggregate safe workplace procedures for a self-certification webinar that will be required for companies returning to work. Residential solar installations are among the most challenging to manage in terms of social distancing, especially in the downstate regions that have been the most affected, and NYSEIA’s efforts are focused on getting business back to normal in these areas.
The Governor’s Office has said businesses must “reimagine” their operations to be in compliance with the new standards. The office outlines the following Business Safety Precautions:
- Adjusted workplace hours and shift design
- Social distancing
- Non-essential travel restricted
- Masks required if in frequent contact with others
- Strict cleaning and sanitation standards
- Continuous health screening to enter workplace
- Continuous tracing, tracking and reporting
NYSEIA is asking solar businesses to send any recommendations for safety best practices to firstname.lastname@example.org.
News item from NYSEIA