UK solar industry launches initiative to raise standards in operations and maintenance in cooperation with SolarPower Europe

7/7/16, 2:00 PM -

The UK Solar Trade Association (STA) has launched an initiative to raise standards in the maintenance of big rooftop and ground mount solar systems. Recently the solar generation peaked at 23.9 percent of electricity demand, a new record for the UK.

Almost 12 GW photovoltaics are installed in UK. The Solar Trade Association (STA) now launched an initiative to raise standards in O&M.

“The Solar Trade Association is keen to raise awareness of the fact that good quality operation and maintenance (O&M) of commercial solar rooftops and solar farms is essential to ensuring their performance, longevity and safe working condition”, Paul Barwell, CEO of STA said. The body wants to ensure that the sector goes beyond minimum standards and establishes best practice to raise the bar in this sector, he stresses. Therefore STA launched its new initiative Raising Standards in Solar PV Operations and Maintenance. This builds on the work that EU-level body SolarPower Europe has done in its own O&M Best Practice Guidelines.

Raise standards and avoid costly corrective action

Mark Turner, Chair of STA`s Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Working Group and Managing Director of Lightsource Renewable Energy commented: “With this initiative we want to raise standards and establish best practice across the UK in solar PV operations and maintenance, making sure people are aware that preventative action can avoid costly corrective action later. Solar PV plants have no moving parts but are power plants like any other, and therefore safety has to be our primary concern.”

Almost 12 GW solar power deployed in UK

 “The UK has successfully deployed almost 12 GW of solar across the UK, providing nearly 25 percent during peak generation. This is what the country and the world needs to decarbonise the energy sector at the lowest price to the consumer. The Government’s adoption of the fifth carbon budget is a good long term signal in this regard”, Barwell underlined.“We now need just one more push from the Government to help the solar sector reach its objective of zero subsidy by the early 2020s”, the CEO or STA added. STA would shortly be publishing the results of its State of the Solar Industry Survey, which it conducted in conjunction with PwC. Later this year the body would also be setting out its key policy asks to help support solar PV in the near and medium term, Barwell announced.

December 6, STA and SolarPower Europe will be hosting a major conference on solar PV Operations & Maintenance in London. Registration will open soon. (HCN)