Solar panel cleaning firm Clean Solar Solutions (CSS) is set to clean 143MW of operational solar firms over the coming weeks.

The company will be cleaning 110 separate sites up and down the UK. Having started in late March, CSS will complete the run next month.

The 143MW of solar comprises more than 100 rooftop installs between 50kW and 250kW in size, two large-scale solar farms totalling 34MW near Wellingborough and smaller projects in Bognor Regis, Andover, Leamington Spa and Edinburgh.

Steve Williams, managing director at Clean Solar Solutions, told Solar Power Portal that clients of the company included the likes of Solarcentury, British Solar Renewables and Silverstone Green Energy.

“To do this number… in just 10 weeks shows the progress that we have made as a company and that the industry has made in recognising the need for solar panel cleaning,” he added.

As operations and maintenance has grown in interest and scope in recent years, some developers have come to take a relaxed view to cleaning. While regular cleans are vital in arid climates such as the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Latin America, the UK’s climate has resulted in a growing opinion that panel cleans should be optional in O&M scopes.

Williams disagrees with this view and said: “Solar panel cleaning is here to stay and should be an integral part of any O&M provider’s package. It is conceivable that we will clean over one million panels this year, not bad for a company that did not start trading until 2013.”

And Williams also believes the sector is about to face an influx of firms offering cleaning services.

“As with installers when installing PV was gaining traction, the marketplace will be flooded with solar panel cleaning companies – good, bad and ugly.  I envisage though that there will be a sifting process, as there was with installers. 

“What you will have left will be a small number of high quality, experienced, professional solar panel cleaning companies who are in this for the long term,” he added.