The extraordinary protection measures and the change in the organization of work have allowed the activity of Concentrating Solar Power to continue normally during the entire state of alarm.
The fifty solar thermal plants in Spain continue, from the start of the state of alarm, producing renewable energy thanks to the protection measures taken, which guarantee total safety for their workers during the pandemic caused by Covid-19, according to the Spanish Association for the Promotion of the Solar Thermal Industry (Protermosolar).
These extraordinary measures were taken immediately after the state of alarm came into force, which has allowed the activity to continue at the same rate of production as usual, with the exception of non-critical maintenance work, which has been temporarily postponed. The nature of essential activity of solar thermal power plants has allowed that, despite the current situation, the entire value chain, including suppliers and contractors, has continued to function normally and correctly.
At the organizational level, Protermosolar explains that all work activity has been transformed to minimize contacts. In this sense, the working hours have been modified, some teams have been split into shifts to avoid many workers coinciding at the same time and the overlaps in shift changes have been eliminated. Break and lunch times have also undergone changes to limit capacity in public areas. Additionally, employees must submit a plant access form that guarantees that the people who enter are not part of the population at risk.
Following official recommendations, hygienic measures for prevention have also increased significantly, such as hand washing, the use of gloves or daily temperature control at the entrances to plants. In addition to the measures recommended by the health authorities, specific measures have been adopted for all those elements that imply direct contact with the operator and a sufficient stock of the protection elements has been provided to each plant. In some plants, even all the materials that have entered have been disinfected wet or with ozone.
The location of solar thermal plants in relatively isolated rural areas makes the possible impact of Covid-19 much less. Before the appearance of any initial symptoms, in some specific cases, they stopped attending the plant, continuing the activity without subsequent risk of contagion. Protermosolar ensures that some plants have even formed volunteer reserve teams, which have been kept in rigorous confinement to be able to act in case of need.
Protermosolar wants to emphasize that the essential, from the first moment of this pandemic, is to ensure the health and safety of workers in the sector and of the entire population in general, and also wants to publicly thank all the employees, suppliers and staff of the Supply companies their effort, commitment and professionalism in these difficult times.
Protermosolar is the association that represents the Spanish sector of the Concentrated Solar Power industry. Solar thermal technology, in which Spain is an international leader, has recently burst onto the renewable energy landscape worldwide and currently has great growth potential due to its energy storage capacity and being able to dispatch it conveniently, for its revitalizing effect on the economy and local employment and its trajectory of cost reduction. The installed capacity in Spain is 2,300 MW, representing a third of the world’s installed capacity, with a presence of Spanish companies in practically all projects in operation or construction.