Solar and storage project developer Belectric is aiming to bring a collective 3GW of capacity worldwide into its operations and maintenance (O&M) arm.
The company, which primarily focuses on solar plant construction and planning, has connected solar projects in India, Israel, Australia, Canada and Europe to the grid this year, and also oversees their maintenance. Belectric has reaffirmed its commitment to the O&M sector as others have offloaded their own maintenance businesses in an increasingly competitive market. First Solar sold its O&M arm to NovaSource in August as it could no longer “justify incremental capital investment” in the sector, while SunPower sold its O&M branch to a Canadian private equity investor in March.
Ingo Alphéus, CEO of Belectric Solar & Battery GmbH, said the company has won new O&M contracts in Italy and the USA for plants already in operation, putting it on course to “achieve a major milestone of operating and maintaining 3GW of solar power plants around the world.”
Belectric runs its O&M services from a control centre in Germany that uses a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, which allows the company to provide predictive analysis on which components of a solar plant may need to be replaced or repaired, and when. To date, the company oversees O&M at solar plants with a collective 2.7GW of capacity.
Barry Bennet, Belectric’s head of international O&M, said the company’s predictive data is “one of the driving forces” behind the growth of its O&M business while other developers have offloaded theirs to focus on manufacturing or construction.
“With approximately 20 years of experience in power plant construction and around 530 solar plants under constant monitoring,” he said, “our service teams …have the necessary expertise and technical know-how not only to ensure plant performance, but to continuously improve it.”