SolarPower Europe (SPE) has launched its updated operation and maintenance (O&M) best practice guidelines to offer the solar community an up to date guidance document for the sector.

2.0 Operation & Maintenance (O&M) Best Practices Guidelines seeks to dive deeper into how to better manage O&M, which SPE says is increasingly vital as solar continues to grow into a mainstream energy source in Europe.

James Watson, chief executive of SolarPower Europe, said: “Europe is the continent with the largest and oldest fleet of solar plants, we need proper health care for the assets to meet performance expectations. These O&M Best Practices Guidelines are necessary for the European solar industry to stay healthy and continue to grow long term.”

Launched today in London, at the O&M and Asset Management Conference, the new version is the result of the work of more than 70 experts from SolarPower Europe's O&M Task Force, including O&M contractors, asset owners, asset managers and monitoring tool providers.

Vassilis Papaeconomou, managing director at Alectris and O&M Task Force Leader for SolarPower Europe, commented: “Over the course of the past twelve months, the O&M Task Force has extensively refined the guidelines and included an additional chapter on technical asset management and cybersecurity. With this report we aim to establish an industry-wide standard for professional O&M which will be of great benefit to our sector”.

Another new feature of the version 2.0 document is a set of contractual recommendations in line with the recently established Global Solar Energy Standardisation Initiative (SESI), a collaborative initiative of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Terrawatt Initiative, with the strong support of SolarPower Europe and the Global Solar Council, to harmonise standards in the solar industry. 

“The SESI is an important collaboration between the solar industry, legal sector as well as other stakeholders from finance, insurance and beyond, which aims to streamline and reduce costs to enable the deployment of solar globally. Not only will there be a standard contract for O&M, part of a complete package of documents covering all aspects for developing and financing a solar project, but we now have published the road map on how to fulfill this contract,” said Nicole Iseppi and Jean-Pascal Pham-Ba of the Terrawatt Initiative, on behalf of the Global Solar Energy Standardisation Initiative.

“The potential to reduce costs is further strengthened with the convergence of a standardised contractual framework and the O&M Best Practices Guidelines. What we are creating is a complete toolkit for effective, cost efficient and simplified solar O&M”