Across the country, states have begun issuing “Shelter in Place” or “Stay at Home” orders, directing residents to stay in their homes to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health. Although each of these orders is different, they generally allow for residents and businesses to continue essential activities and business operations. The solar industry ensures critical electric generation infrastructure to U.S. utilities, businesses and homes nationwide, and installations can be done safely in accordance with federal and state guidance. Nonetheless, it is imperative that the solar industry do its part to protect public health and follow the intent and spirit of these orders. As states begin to re-open their economies, SEIA will revisit this guidance.
Below you will find links to the orders that have been issued to date, and general guidelines solar companies can follow. We will continue to update this page as more information becomes available. Help SEIA continue to improve this guidance by responding to our survey, and emailing CISA.CAT@cisa.dhs.gov and firstname.lastname@example.org with any examples of how and why solar workers provide critical infrastructure.
Note: the information provided here is not legal advice, and companies should review shelter in place and similar orders where they operate with their legal teams.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidance on critical infrastructure workers has been revised several times, most recently on April 17. The revised list of energy and electricity workers includes several provisions relevant to the solar industry:
- Workers supporting the energy sector, regardless of the energy source (including but not limited to nuclear, fossil, hydroelectric, or renewable), segment of the system, or infrastructure the worker is involved in, or who are needed to monitor, operate, engineer, and maintain the reliability, safety, environmental health, and physical and cyber security of the energy system, including those who support construction, manufacturing, transportation, permitting, and logistics
- Workers supporting the energy sector through renewable energy infrastructure (including, but not limited to wind, solar, biomass, hydrogen, ocean, geothermal, and/or hydroelectric) and microgrids, including those supporting construction, manufacturing, transportation, permitting, operation/maintenance, monitoring, and logistics
- Workers who maintain, ensure, or restore, or are involved in the development, transportation, fuel procurement, expansion, or operation of the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power, including call centers, utility workers, engineers, retail electricity, constraint maintenance, and fleet maintenance technicians who cannot perform their duties remotely
- Workers at fossil fuel (including but not limited to natural gas, refined, distillate, and/or coal), nuclear, and renewable energy infrastructure (including, but not limited to wind, solar, biomass, hydrogen, geothermal, and/or hydroelectric microgrids), including those supporting construction, manufacturing, transportation, permitting, operation/maintenance, monitoring, and logistics
The list “is advisory in nature. It is not, nor should it be considered to be, a federal directive or standard. . . . Individual jurisdictions should add or subtract essential workforce categories based on their own requirements and discretion.”
Click on your state below to access the latest information on statewide stay-at-home and re-opening orders for business activity. Please keep in mind that local orders may supersede state-level directives. Some local orders are detailed below the map.