O&M has become a standalone segment in the solar value chain – A Q&A with our O&M Task Force Leader Alectris
With Máté Heisz, Business Analyst at SolarPower Europe and Vassilis Papaeconomou, Managing Director at Alectris
This article originally appeared in the SolarPower Europe September 2017 newsletter.
SolarPower Europe’s O&M Task Force will be launching their O&M Best Practices guidelines version 2.0 this December in London as part of the O&M and Asset Management event, co-organised with the Solar Trade Association and Bird & Bird. Máté Heisz, Business Analyst at SolarPower Europe, discusses with Vassilis Papaeconomou, Managing Director at Alectris and O&M Task Force leader, the significance of the new and improved guidelines for the solar industry.
MH: Alectris has recently become the new O&M task force leader this past year, how has the task force been reinvigorated since you have taken the lead?
VP: Alectris took over the Task Force’s leadership in January 2017 with three core objectives: First to further enhance the Best Practices Guidelines. Second to work on a global O&M template contract, as part of the Global Solar Energy Standardisation Initiative, a joint initiative of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Terrawatt Initiative, the Global Solar Council and SolarPower Europe. Third to work on dissemination strategy of the Task Force’s results and the culmination of the dissemination activities in 2017 especialy through the O&M and Asset Management conference on 7 December in London. We are doing this with the help of more than 50 experts from more than 30 companies, including nearly 20 new experts and 10 companies who have joined the O&M Task Force since January 2017.
MH: What will be different in the O&M Best Practices guidelines version 2.0?
VP: The first edition of the O&M Best Practices Guidelines, published in 2016, was very well received by industry and press. We want to bring the success of the first edition further by incorporating even more industry experience and working with even more experts, not only O&M service providers but also other related stakeholders such as asset owners, asset managers and monitoring solutions providers. We are deepening existing chapters, such as technical asset management, covering new topics, such as cybersecurity and also aligning our recommendations with the global O&M template contract we work on together with IRENA and the Terrawatt Initiative. In short, Version 2.0 of the O&M Best Practices Guidelines will be more mature with a more progressive vision for the O&M market.
MH: Why is it so important to promote these guidelines, especially in emerging markets?
VP: Europe is the continent with the largest and oldest fleet of PV plants, which made stakeholders realize that they needed proper “health care” for the assets to meet performance expectations. Today, O&M has become a standalone segment in the solar value chain with many companies specializing exclusively in solar O&M. Yet according to a recent survey of SolarPower Europe, two out of three solar professionals say that there are ‘very large’ or ‘significant’ discrepancies between the quality of services provided by different O&M contractors. SolarPower Europe’s freely available Best Practices Guidelines make it possible for all interested stakeholders to benefit from the experience of leading experts in the sector and increase the level of quality and consistency in O&M. This is of particular significance for emerging markets, many of which saw spectacular solar booms over the last few years. Such markets can only benefit from the concentrated knowledge and expertise in the Best Practices Guidelines and avoid the pitfalls in the maturation process.
To learn more about the O&M Best Practices guidelines version 2.0, join us in London on 7 December, 2017 at our O&M and Asset Management event for the official launch and contribute to this important initiative for the solar industry.
For more information, please contact Máté Heisz at [email protected]
To register for the event: www.solar-trade.org.uk/sta-events/om-asset-management/