Image: Colin (Wikimedia Commons).

Operations and maintenance (O&M) company Alectris has announced that it is to open its first UK office.

The company said that the UK solar sector offers a significant opportunity for O&M, as it is pegged for growth with a forward pipeline of 7GW spread over 350 sites. Recent analysis from Solar Media’s head of market research Finlay Coleville found that the pipeline of new large-scale solar sites in the UK is even larger, coming in at more than 9GW. In June 2020, more than 600MW of large-scale solar was added alone.

As lockdown lifts, Alectris is keen to take advantage of the return to development, capitalising on both new development and the UK’s existing and maturing solar portfolios.

Many UK solar projects are now beginning to exit the two-year final acceptance certification (FAC) period, which will additionally intensify demand for O&M as owners look to third parties to replace EPC contracts.

Vassilis Papaeconomou, managing director of Alectris, said that between the significant development pipelines and some compress timelines, there is a need for portfolio owners to “manage their projects effectively from day one”.

“Through our significant global O&M experience, and our asset management ERP software, ACTIS, we believe we can help overcome the challenges faced by solar asset owners as they scale and diversify.”

He continued: “By establishing a UK base of operations in London, we will be able to enhance the existing level of support that we already provide to some UK solar operators, but also grow and tailor our offering to the specific needs of the UK market.”

Papaeconomou recently wrote for Solar Power Portal, in a blog highlighting the need for greater digitalisation in the O&M sector.