Wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa has closed a second factory in Spain after another employee tested positive for coronavirus.
Earlier this week the company confirmed that a power electronics plant and validation center in Madrid had closed temporarily. On Wednesday, the company confirmed to GTM that a blade facility in Aoiz had also closed.
At the time of writing, Spain had the second-highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Europe, ranking behind only Italy, according to the World Health Organization.
“Up to now, we have registered two positive cases of coronavirus in our factories, both in Spain,” an SGRE spokesperson said.
“Both employees are under observation following the recommendations of the health authorities. As a precautionary measure and to reduce the risk of contagion, the company has decided to close both plants temporarily and proceed to the immediate complete technical cleaning of the building,” the spokesperson added.
The blade facility represents around 10 percent of Siemens Gamesa's capacity, at 600 to 800 megawatts annually.
The knock-on impacts of the earlier closure of factories in China due to COVID-19 are beginning to filter through to the global renewable energy industry. However, as the outbreak leads to tightening restrictions on the labor market in Europe and North America, development activity is likely to fall at a faster rate than the shortfall in components, according to an update from Wood Mackenzie issued Monday.
Concerns are also building around the potential impact on the operations and maintenance of operational wind assets.
Siemens Gamesa's other global factories remain open. “We are seeking to ensure that we can continue to deliver products and services to our customers," the company said in a statement.
"We have therefore put in place rigorous protocols that allow us to maintain our operating activities — including manufacturing, installation and service — without compromising the health of our employees. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely and adjust our activities accordingly."