Welcome to Version 3.0 of SolarPower europe’s Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Best Practices Guidelines. This edition, coordinated by BayWa r.e. Operation Services S.r.l., brings forward the success of the first two editions, led by First Solar and then Alectris, by covering a number of new topics and further refining existing chapters – all this with the support of a constantly growing O&M Task Force community.
Europe is not the continent with the largest fleet of solar power plants anymore. it remains, however, the continent with the oldest fleet and therefore a considerable amount of expertise in solar O&M. O&M, being the most job and value intensive segment in the solar power value chain in Europe, is responsible for about one third of all solar jobs created and gross value added: it is indeed a segment of great importance.
the members of the SolarPower Europe O&M task Force have decided to put on paper and share in these Best Practices Guidelines their know-how and experience in this field. the Guidelines were first published in 2016 to address quality issues in solar O&M and by 2018, they have become a living document with an active community behind, today already consisting of nearly one hundred top experts from nearly 50 companies.
Version 3.0 further refines existing chapters and covers a variety of important new topics with three brand new chapters on “revamping and repowering”, “O&M for distributed solar” and “innovations and trends”. repowering is becoming an increasingly important business segment within O&M, particularly in Europe where the plants are in operation since many years, while O&M in distributed solar is an interesting yet largely untapped segment with a number of specificities as compared to utility-scale best practices. We thank the European association of Electrical Contractors (aiE) for their support to the latter chapter. trends and innovations such as smart power plant monitoring, data-driven O&M, retrofit coatings for solar panels and O&M for solar power plants with batteries have been addressed in a new standalone chapter, introducing some topics that are expected to become more relevant in the years to come. the chapter on Environment, health & Safety has been complemented thanks to the support of Solar trade association, with useful information on how solar power plants can contribute to preserving and enhancing their natural environment. also, the annual Maintenance Plan has been updated, streamlined and simplified.
2018 was a very active year also in terms of spin-off activities related to the O&M Best Practices Guidelines. in June, we launched the Solar O&M Best Practices Mark (www.solarmaintenancemark.com), a quality label based on the recommendations of the Guidelines. the Mark has already been adopted by a dozen leading O&M contractors. We organised four webinars on O&M best practices for various national solar industry associations and their members. last but not least, as part of a partnership between SolarPower Europe and the Mexican solar industry association asolmex and with the support of the German development cooperation GiZ, we translated the Guidelines into Spanish and organised an O&M best practices workshop in Mexico City, where our O&M task Force members presented the Guidelines chapter by chapter and discussed with Mexican experts.
these successful actions have reconfirmed the significance of the O&M Best Practices Guidelines for the industry and SolarPower Europe will continue its dissemination efforts in 2019 in Europe and beyond. Join the O&M task Force if you would like to be part of this undertaking and if you would like to contribute to the upcoming Version 4.0
Enjoy reading this report!