O&M providers need to ‘step into shoes of investors’ – Intersolar Europe

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Credit: IBC Solar

Solar O&M providers need to better communicate to investors the value they are adding to projects through data management and digitalisation, according to an industry figure.

O&M firms need to “step into the shoes of investors” to prove how these new data tools have impacted plant performance and energy yields, Uwe Schmidt, director, O&M, IBC Solar, told PV Tech at Intersolar Europe in Munich.

“Data management is getting more and more important. Not only saying you have been on the market for however many years, [it is] more based on your actions in the last year with the data in really productive operational topics.”

Whereas in previous eras O&M performance could be communicated via emails, now tools can gather information and send reports far more effectively and instantaneously, but it’s not always easy to explain to investors how a company’s O&M actions have translated into higher energy yields for the plant.

Schmidt added: “Investors are looking more at the quality side and quality is pretty hard to prove sometimes; you have to communicate; you have to prove what you really did.”

Thus the quality of documentation – not only the plant performance – has become important. Companies also need to calculate whether providing a seven-day-a-week service is effective cost-wise compared to just five days.

Schmidt added there is an ongoing debate in the industry about whether it is preferable to have an independent third-party O&M provider or not. Defending the non-independent option, he said that providing O&M services for your own products and EPC-serviced projects allows the O&M team to react quickly in regard to warranty issues and the team knows their own products inside out.

Read Next

July 19, 2021
Machine learning techniques have been used in a study to boost the accuracy of renewables forecasts by up to 45%, helping improve grid operations in Australia.
PV Tech Premium
July 5, 2021
As it matures, the solar industry is moving beyond the use of Performance Ratios (PR) as the go-to performance metric for operational sites. Christopher West, head of central engineering - solar PV delivery unit at Statkraft, argues the case for PRs to be replaced by alternative, more evolved methods of assessment.
June 21, 2021
The cost of insuring operational solar farms has skyrocketed over the course of the year, triggered by carriers rethinking their approaches to natural catastrophes and other extreme weather events. This has placed additional importance on mitigation strategies. Kevin Christy, COO for North America at Lightsource bp, details how the solar developer has adapted its strategy in the field.
May 24, 2021
PV Tech Power volume 27 is now available to download, providing a comprehensive and detailed analysis of Europe’s solar market.
April 27, 2021
Intersolar Europe, the continent’s largest solar trade show, has been postponed once again and will now take place in early October, event organiser Solar Promotion has confirmed.
April 7, 2021
In-person trade events Intersolar North America (ISNA) and Energy Storage North America (ESNA) have been postponed until January 2022.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
July 29, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021