Covid-19 outbreak at PV plant construction site in Portugal


From pv magazine Spain

While construction work, particularly in the renewable energy plant sector, did not stop during the pandemic, Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc. This week, the coronavirus reached a number of workers of the Solara4 PV plant, the largest solar power project currently under construction in Portugal.

According to Osvaldo dos Santos Gonçalves, mayor of Alcoutim, a Portuguese municipality in the Algarve region, six Covid positives were detected after 50 tests were carried out among the group of workers that are working on the project installation. The project has been partially halted but has not been stopped completely, Santos Gonçalves told pv magazine.

The Solara4 project has a 221 MW capacity and is located near the Vaqueiros district. It is being built by companies and workers from both sides of the Iberian border, including Portwind Lda. Imenergy, Iprocel and B.E.T. Green Energy.

When asked about the completion of the project, the mayor of Alcoutim declared that he could not provide an exact date. “There have been several previous announcements and delays in the inauguration of other projects before, with which we do not dare to indicate a completion date.” pv magazine has received no response from the companies involved in the plant construction.

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The Solara4 project was initially described as the largest facility in Europe built without public subsidies. When completed, it will be made up of 661,500 photovoltaic modules from Chinese manufacturer Jetion Solar. Its construction began in March 2017.

Solara4 is being developed by Irish company Welink with funding from Investec and Kommunalkredit funds. According to Welink's announcement, the EPC turnkey contractor is China Triumph International Engineering Co. Ltd (CTIEC). Welink has secured a long-term PPA for the project from Spanish energy company Audax.


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