US: Coronavirus to delay utility-scale solar projects even in 2021


Wood Mackenzie predicts the ongoing COVID-19 crisis could negatively impact on US utility-scale solar projects even into 2021.

According to the findings of the Coronavirus: US Solar PV Supply Chain and Utility-Scale Market Risk report, the US utility-scale solar projects market could see up to four weeks of supply delays affecting a few hundred MWs of modules and inverters.

Combined with construction disruptions, it could translate into as much as 2GWdc of project development delays in 2020.

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The solar module supply to the US market faces four sources of risk including:

  • Potential production shutdown in South-east Asia;
  • Domestic US production shutdown;
  • International shipping and logistics delays;
  • Module bill of materials (BOM) shortage.

US utility solar projects face four primary sources of project development risks:

  • Shipping delays from the potential closing of US ports;
  • Supply delays of products;
  • Travel delays limiting or delaying project milestones;
  • Site shutdowns due to “shelter in place” orders or onsite COVID-19 infections.

Ravi Manghani, co-author of the report, said: “The worst-case scenario, which sees every step of the supply chain and project development come to a complete halt for several weeks, could see upwards of 5GWdc of US utility-scale market pushed back to the second half of this year and perhaps into 2021.”

Assuming disruptions halt by the end of the third quarter of 2021, solar manufacturers that have geographically diverse supply chains, and downstream players that have development pipelines in very early stage (or nearing completion), are the best positioned to ride the tide.

Click here for more information about the report.