Acquisition Due Diligence

Effects of COVID-19 on the Solar Industry

We spend a lot of time on the phone with our clients and vendors, and he put together the common themes he is hearing on the effects of COVID19:
  • In general, all industries have been affected in some way. Some directly affected like health care, first responders, retail, tourism, sports, and events. Help those people as best as possible and be thankful that we are very fortunate to only see minor impacts.
  • The solar industry received no direct stimulus while trying to include an ITC extension and 1603 rebate,
  • Residential solar sales has stopped as a direct response to no door-to-door activities (Resi is ~40% of solar market),
  • Projects within the utility or AHJ review process are likely to see a 2-3 month delay in the Northeast. Rural states may see less. This raises concern for projects meeting the 2020 ITC deadline.
  • Some planning boards and AJH’s are working on a remote reviews process but most lack any experience in doing so. States like NJ may need to re-evaluate the raised seal requirement.
  • Corporate projects transactions are slowed or delayed but still being closed. People and Companies tend to hold cash during uncertain times.
  • Projects under construction are seeing very minor slow downs from reduction of workforce to meet social distancing requirements. Construction remains an essential business. Post installation inspections will be slowed or postponed. Electrical supply shops remain open with a limited delivery schedule.
  • Global Supply chain for major equipment is seeing minor impacts through the middle of Q2. Most are acknowledging future turbulence from imports restrictions and domestic freight limitations. Inverter manufacturers and wholesalers benefited from beginning of the year increased domestic inventory.
  • Module & Inverter manufacturing: China and neighboring Asian countries are getting back to normal and nearing a full recovery. Yesterday’s flight ban for Malaysia raises concerns as 3 of the largest cell manufacturers have operations there: JA solar, Jinko, and Qcell.
  • Supply chain setbacks should balance with a future reduction of Resi installations from the current reduction in new sales (3-5mo door knock to install cycle). Commercial and utility order tend to take priority and should remain unaffected.
  • O&M is anticipated to see no major impacts. NERC compliant NOC impacts were not confirmed but assumed to be slightly impacted from staffing limitations.

To learn more about the effects of COVID19, or to discuss how PV Pro’s Independent Engineering services can help you though these tough times, reach out to today!