The future of Operations and Maintenance for Utility Solar
With the continued success of Utility Solar a growing market for O&M is beginning to emerge. Many of the warranties are beginning to expire and leave O&M contracts up for negotiations. As contracts hit the open market it is important to have a well-developed O&M plan and the highest quality O&M services. NESCO has begun partnering with local organizations and communicating with NREL researchers to develop a matrix of site specific factors and principles that need to be addressed with regards to O&M. Identifying needs and having the tools to handle the challenges of maintaining a large facility is of the upmost importance to us.
The idea that O&M is an opportunity for future business in the United States is not a new one. In Europe there has been a surge of independent O&M contractors and we will begin to see the same here in the U.S. Having installed projects in the cold climates of Breckenridge, CO and the desert climates of Arizona and Southern California we have identified multiple conditions and developed procedures to help owners lower operation costs before the project even begins. The key to lowering those operations costs is preventive maintenance. There is not a definable way preventative maintenance should be instituted, but with the Matrix developed by NESCO and its partners there can be a variety of service plans available for each site. These services will help utility solar plants across the country maintain a healthy return on investment for years to come.