Last week, hundreds of solar industry professionals met in San Francisco for the Solar O&M North America Conference. The event featured speeches and panel discussions from the industry’s leading experts – including RadianGEN’s CEO, Chad Sachs, and VP of Business Development, Joe Kastner – and addressed topics like performance and revenue maximization, data and performance analysis, legal O&M issues and in-house vs. outsourcing O&M asset management.
This conference is considered the most comprehensive event on Solar Operations & Maintenance (O&M) andSolar Asset Management (SolarAM) in the U.S. so we’re really excited that we had the opportunity to participate.
HERE’S A QUICK SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE LATEST TRENDS AND PERTINENT ISSUES DISCUSSED AT THE EVENT:
- One of the best ways to ensure long-term performance and low corrective maintenance is to focus on well-constructed solar projects right from the start.
- While it goes without saying that initially well-constructed solar projects maintain much better performance ratios, evidence from various research labs reveals that projects which were poorly constructed could be materially improved over time with proper O&M and SolarAM. In some cases, enough to get close to the original projections.
- The maturity of the O&M sector is still nascent, with most service providers focusing on younger projects that were installed since 2010.
- Preventative maintenance is cheaper than corrective maintenance in the long term. By spending money upfront, you can save money in the long run. This is clearly demonstrated and recognized in the commercial and utility segments. It is surprising that the residential segment seems to value this less.
- The installed base of solar projects is expected to grow 200% over the next four years, increasing the demand for O&M and SolarAM.
One of the main takeaways from the In-house O&M vs. Outsourcing O&M Asset Management panel, which focused on the pros and cons of each approach and their respective strategic motivations, came from Chad:
“Your cost of O&M should not be the only question. What owners should be thinking about is the opportunity cost of managing your solar portfolio internally, what is this costing you and what is falling by the wayside. Outsourcing non-core activities frees up internal resources to focus on higher return activities like developing and building new projects. Today, strong outside solar asset management can actually help you turn a higher profit from your solar investments.”