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Dara Bortman Talks Coronavirus and Solar

A worldwide financial information and investment analytics company, S&P Global, recently investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the solar industry in the U.S. The authors were interested in how the industry would or could return to normal as states were beginning to permit a slow return to routine work and casual activities again in May.

Dara Bortman, who manages all sales and marketing activities for Exact Solar, was contacted as an expert to discuss the impact on the east coast solar energy installation industry. Like her west coast counterpart contacted, Dara sees that there are longer term changes for the industry. Post-pandemic business operations will require altered approaches, meaning there won’t be a quick and complete return to normal. For Dara and Exact Solar, the primary concern is the safety of every person the company contacts, from staff to customers.

Highlights from the article include the following:

  • Responsible companies may establish boundaries at job sites to keep workers separated and the entire crew a safe distance from families
  • Increased cleaning and disinfecting protocols will be needed
  • Potentially, some installers could delay projects for homes with a member currently or recently infected
  • Modified routines for permitting, interconnecting, and permissions to operate are needed to overcome longer delays as much as possible

Although the federal CARES Act aimed at companies through a monetary stimulus during the mandated shutdowns is helpful, it won’t address the more significant financial hardships many installers will face over the long haul. According to Dara:

We could lose four to six months this year. To help residential solar installers, to create jobs, Congress should extend the ITC (Investment Tax Credit) at 26% for
another year.

However, there is good news. Exact Solar is continuing to fully support customers in every way possible. From sales contact through installation and service, the new protocols allow the company to keep everyone gainfully employed and help Pennsylvanians become energy independent. And more importantly, the trajectory of the clean energy revolution will continue to see traditional fossil fuel capacity replaced. The momentum is too powerful, and the costs are too beneficial.

To read the full S&P Global article, see “Awaking from COVID-19 ‘hibernation,’ US solar installers face new realities“.

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