US-based solar developer sPower has tasked Lightsource with the operations and maintenance of three solar farms in Wales.

The trio of sites have a combined generation capacity in excess of 28MW and Lightsource’s O&M team will collaborate with sPower’s on preventative and corrective maintenance.

Lightsource has also signed performance guarantees for the three solar farms and Mark Turner, operations director at the company, said that O&M contracts in the UK had become “very demanding” with a high level of expectation for services.

“It doesn’t matter what size or location of assets, there is an expectation of a gold standard service and that the highest levels of quality are maintained.

“Having our own in-house team allows us to manage all aspects of the O&M process to achieve a high level of both consistency and quality across the board. We take great pride in the quality of the information provided to clients as well as the quality of the job we do on site,” Turner added.

Solar O&M has been considered a growth area for the industry as the number of ground-mount sites continues to increase and asset owners look to eke out as much generation as possible to maximise their investment.

At February’s Solar Finance and Investment conference in London, a panel concluded that consolidation in the O&M market was “inevitable” as demands increased, with only larger, dedicated teams capable of providing those kinds of services at attractive prices.

Lightsource’s in-house O&M team already manages the firm’s own UK 1.1GW+ portfolio, a fact which sPower took into consideration when awarding the contract.

Ryan Creamer, chief executive at sPower, said: “We awarded the O&M contract to Lightsource based on their expertise, their track record of quality and responsive service and our companies’ shared commitment to world-class performance.”  

Lightsource’s O&M division has a 40-strong team of regional engineers which conduct services in the field and are supported by a central team which handles monitoring, communications, health and safety and land management services.