Solar O&M NA Event Showcases Best Practices for Asset Optimization

May 22, 2014

Alectris, a global solar PV O&M service provider, shares highlights of recent Solar O&M North America event

Against a vibrant sky of sun rays and rain drops, the recent Solar O&M North America conclave in San Francisco, CA gathered leaders in the solar operations and maintenance (O&M) arena for a lively and well attended first ever U.S. event dedicated solely to asset optimization.

“Worldwide it becomes apparent that even for small PV power plants professional O&M and asset management can lead up to thousands of dollars of extra revenue per year,” states the Solarplaza team on their event recap website page.

“In other words: a profound understanding and investment in the right O&M and asset management services is not just a basic need, it also provides substantial financial benefits.”

The event involved nearly 270 participants and covered topics from module Issues and standardization to legal O&M issues and budgeting of asset management. Leading companies and research entities attending included GTM Research, Solichamba, Enphase Energy, First Solar, Google, Sunrun, Clean Power Finance and Recurrent Energy.

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Alectris, a global solar PV O&M service provider, event sponsor and presenter brought its expertise from the mature European solar market to this U.S. audience.

Increasing Solar Plant Performance” was the topic addressed by Vassilis Papaeconomou, managing director of Alectris at this inaugural Solarplaza Solar O&M North America event.  His presentation communicated the solar O&M best practices utilized in a dramatic case study demonstrating the rescue of a distressed ground mounted solar PV plant in Italy.

Alectris stepped into this portfolio of distressed plants as the solar O&M manager starting in late 2012.  The company started with a diagnosis of the plants and recommendations for initial performance enhancements.  This led to the implementation of immediate actions aimed at increasing the portfolio’s energy generation and performance availability. The range of maintenance measures taken by Alectris was outlined in the Solar O&M NA presentation.

In parallel ACTIS, the proprietary monitoring tool of Alectris was installed on all the plants. The first three months constituted a transition period to run a complete and thorough plant diagnosis, suggest and implement a series of discretional variations aimed at correcting all the engineering and construction mistakes and increasing significantly the portfolio’s performance.

Beginning with the initial plant turnaround, the results are very strong.  In terms of returns, comparing the same periods of the two years, an average performance increase of 20%, corresponding roughly to an average 60.000€ per plant of extra revenues (gross) has been generated.

The total costs for the all the variations foreseen were less than 20.000€ per plant, translating into a payback period of approximately of two months.

Prior to Solar O&M North America, Papaeconomou was interviewed for a series on solar O&M for Solar Power World Magazine.

Addressing the topic of “5 Factors Shaping the Solar O&M Market in the U.S. and Europe” he said,  “we see a tendency toward more solar O&M being “baked into” the beginning of the construction and engineering phases of PV development in the U.S. This was true of the Origis Energy 24 MW in Georgia (see photo at right) for which our team brought O&M considerations into the conversation very early in the development of those assets.”

Click here for more information on the Solar O&M North America event.


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