2024 looks promising for commercial and industrial solar ventures, but it will also bring some challenges, impacting solar installers, EPCs, and system proprietors alike. Unfortunately, issues such as PV system downtime and inefficiencies within operations and maintenance teams contribute to revenue losses for all stakeholders. The encouraging news is that solutions have surfaced to address these performance challenges in commercial solar operations and maintenance (O&M). Here, we delve into five prevalent issues and propose resolutions.
1. Alert Overload
The challenge isn’t the lack of visibility to potential issues with a PV system, but rather the overwhelming volume of alerts. This situation leads to unnecessary truck rolls for false alarms and delays in addressing critical alerts. Filtering through this noise becomes complex due to overlapping conditions, including hardware failures, shading, soiling, and weather-related underperformance.
Implement smarter monitoring and machine learning technology. Purpose-built software, like EnergyLink’s proprietary AI-powered technology, creates a digital twin of installed assets, incorporates live weather data, and utilizes machine learning to identify deviations in real-world performance. This approach minimizes false alerts, swiftly diagnoses root causes, and facilitates prompt remediation.
2. Downtime Challenges
Asset downtime and underperformance negatively impact return on investment and increase operational expenses. Global supply chain pressures since 2020 have exacerbated these issues, with solar contractors facing unexpected quality issues.
Outsource asset performance management for accurate remote diagnosis, proactive preventive maintenance, and timely corrective maintenance. EnergyLink combines real-time analytics with a team of solar experts to maximize system uptime and minimize truck rolls.
In-House Service Team Dilemma
The decision to build an in-house O&M team poses challenges, especially for rapidly growing solar developers. Servicing projects beyond a reasonable distance becomes costly, necessitating the expansion of the field service network.
Contract with a third-party network. EnergyLink offers a vetted nationwide field service network covering over 33,000 ZIP codes, allowing solar developers to focus on their core business while ensuring effective O&M through preventive and corrective maintenance.
Managing disparate reports from multiple providers can be tedious and hinder efficient portfolio performance management.
Standardize reporting processes and formats. EnergyLink provides easy-to-access, centralized, and standardized reports, covering all performance metrics and maintenance data, simplifying data consolidation and aiding in financial and ESG reporting.
Despite meticulous O&M practices, unforeseen events like extreme weather or climate variations can impact PV performance.
Offer a performance guarantee. EnergyLink assumes weather risk and guarantees a more consistent cash flow, backed by a team of experts and a 95% performance guarantee.
In addressing these complex C&I solar O&M issues, entrusting specialized experts is key. EnergyLink, with its proven track record and confidence in its services, stands as a reliable partner to navigate the intricate landscape of solar operations and maintenance.
Looking for a C&I Solar Developer?
EnergyLink provides development services for 1 MW+ renewable projects through a partnership with EnergyLink Decarbonization Solutions. ELDS offers a unique model and operations vertically integrated from engineering design to capital formation. The scope of services ELDS offers goes beyond typical development services; we provide a link between clean energy investors and middle market organizations assessing ESG solutions, offering a pathway to fund and construct projects seamlessly. Make an inquiry to assess your project opportunities today.