Solar Asset Management is the comprehensive management of the technical, administrative, and financial activities associated with solar power plant operations. Included under this umbrella is the Physical Operations and Maintenance (O&M) cost of the solar plant, which is generally the single largest line-item in the annual budget.
As the solar industry matures, the management and oversight process of solar projects has become more complex. Oversight of O&M, in particular, includes production monitoring, analytics for energy optimization, regular on-site visits, and support for administrative management to ensure that O&M providers are providing high quality services that allow investors to meet their ROI expectations. With years of operational experience, the team atRadianGEN understands how to best maximize O&M to reach projected ROI levels. Because of our experience, customers are constantly asking us how much O&M will cost for their solar PV projects. The answer “it depends” may not be ideal, but it often isn’t possible to give a clear-cut response.
To really get a true evaluation of O&M costs for a solar PV project, there are many variables that need to be accounted for:
Where is the project located? Is it ground or roof mounted? Fixed or tracking? How big is the solar project? Does it sell power to the utility or an on-site customer? How far is it from a major market center? Are there other solar projects nearby? Does the scope include preventative and corrective maintenance? What is the warranty and guarantee situation? Who handles warranty claims? Who is responsible for emergencies? What about force majeure events? Is landscaping included? What about module washing? Does the project have Satcon inverters? How about Evergreen or Solyndra modules?
……and the list goes on.
RadianGEN’s O&M Estimator
To get people in the right mindset we’ve created an easy, online Solar O&M Cost Estimator. While the tool won’t be as accurate as a formal quote and is not meant to tell O&M providers what they are worth, our goal is to give solar project developers, owners, and prospective investors a better feel for what these costs should be for their projects.
We built this tool after hearing comments from investors like, “If you are paying anything for O&M on solar projects in ten years…you are doing something wrong.” Too many people conflate initial O&M contracts (that likely facilitated an EPC contract) with the long-term reality of this expense for 30-year assets. Investors and owners understand that holistic O&M oversight is essential in achieving a project’s financial objectives. That’s where RadianGEN comes in!
Please check out the RadianGEN’s O&M Cost Estimator and let us know what you think. Is it consistent with what you’ve seen in the sector? We’d love to hear from you.