Solar Photovoltaic Plant Operating and Maintenance Costs

The number of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems is expected to increase dramatically over the coming decades.  This increase in the number of PV units leads to an increased focus by utilities and other solar generating firms on achieving the highest level of performance and reliability from the solar asset.  In addition to the typical focus of thinking about up -front costs of a solar plant, determining a plan and budget for operations and maintenance (O & M) is essential in assessing the business case for a PV facility. As in the case of conventional generating plants there are various types of maintenance strategies that can be used  for a PV plant. This document provides the reader with insights into developing a solar PV operating model from a variety of choices. Regardless of what monitoring system or maintenance strategy a firm chooses, the operational support model defines how the new plant will be run on a daily basis including who will perform system monitoring, plant repairs, and scheduled maintenance. The model addresses the mechanical and electrical needs of the plant as well as maintaining the grounds and communication systems.

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