Image: Lightsource BP.

Octopus has pulled the plug on its operations and maintenance contracts with Lightsource BP ahead of time, Solar Power Portal can reveal.

SPP understands that Lightsource BP was providing O&M services for more than 100 of Octopus Renewables’ solar farms in the UK, many of which were long term. However the two have elected to end the contracts now far earlier than scheduled following a review.

In a statement issued to SPP, Lightsource BP said both parties agreed mutually to terminate contacts for the O&M of sites in the UK over the course of the coming months.

“Both companies remain committed to the expansion of renewable energy development and as part of this will continue to review options for future joint opportunities,” a spokesperson said.

Octopus Renewables confirmed that the decision followed a recent review of the company’s O&M strategy in relation to certain of its solar sites in the UK.

In a statement, it continued: “we have identified a number of advantages that come through separately focussing on the delivery of high and low voltage works, and thus have commenced engaging with specialist contractors in each of these areas.

“This is part of Octopus Renewables’ commitment to continue robust operational performance across our sites coupled with the delivery of strong returns to our investors, whilst also driving the highest health and safety standards across the industry.”

SPP also understands a number of these contracts have already been handed to other parties.

Lightsource BP and Octopus have been collaborators in the UK solar sector for some time, working together to bring forward more than 1GW of operational solar farms during the UK market’s ROC era.

Lightsource BP is amongst the largest O&M providers in the UK. The company lays claim to having a portfolio of 2GW of O&M contracts across the UK and Europe, however it is unclear how much remains under contract in light of this development.

It also constitutes a sizeable shake-up for a solar O&M market typified by slim margins and consolidation. A number of smaller operators have been squeezed out of the market in recent years as a result of it becoming fiercely competitive.