Home 2. TOPIC SolarPower Summit 2017: Forgotten “O” in “Operations and Maintenance” solar terminology – Vassilis Papaeconomou, Alectris & Máté Heisz, SolarPower Europe

SolarPower Summit 2017: Forgotten “O” in “Operations and Maintenance” solar terminology – Vassilis Papaeconomou, Alectris & Máté Heisz, SolarPower Europe


SolarPV.TV,  the Official TV Partner of the SolarPower Summit 2017 organized by SolarPower Europe, speaks to leaders of “Operations and Maintenance Task Force”: Vassilis Papaeconomou, Managing Director at Alectris (Chair of the Task Force on behalf of SolarPower Europe members) & Máté Heisz, Business Analyst at SolarPower Europe. 

Acknowledging the emerging importance of Operations and Maintenance for the future technical and economic performance of the PV systems and plants, SolarPower Europe together with its members, has taken the initiative to develop Best Practices Guidelines for the European solar sector and contribute to the improvement of the quality and standardisation of the service provision.

20+ companies and 40+ experts, led by First Solar and coordinated by SolarPower Europe worked during the period of 2015-2016 to achieve the first milestone which was the launch of the first version (version 1.0) of O&M Best Practices Guidelines.

Upon that, the Task Force, enhanced by more companies and experts and reinvigorated by a new Task Force leader – Alectris, has recently kicked off the second period (Q4 2016 – 2017) of work which will include the following objectives:

  • Promote the O&M Best Practices Guidelines across Europe and also outside of Europe (especially in emerging markets)
  • Increase awareness, consensus and encourage adoption by industry
  • Improve version 1.0, incorporate more comments and enlarge the scope
  • Create country annexes when appropriate by diving into certain national specific matters – e.g. Land management, health and safety for the UK. This part of work will be realised with the strong support of relevant national O&M initiatives e.g. Operation & Maintenance Working Group from Solar Trade Association
  • Lead and contribute to the development of template for O&M contracts/term sheets under the Solar Standardisation Initiative of the Terawatt Initiative and IRENA
  • Encourage debate amongst high-level experts from the O&M and asset management business
  • Facilitate networking with your peers, clients and suppliers

Vassilis Papaeconomou of Alectris moderated the panel “Operations and Maintenance” at the 12th annual SolarPower Summit, 7 – 8 March 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. The event was held by SolarPower Europe. Vassilis is the SolarPower Europe O&M working group leader. The working group recently published its first O&M Best Practices Guidelines.

The round table provided participants with an overview of the importance of best practices of O&M and the activities SolarPower Europe has planned for 2017. For example, in 2017, SolarPower Europe is looking to further improve and disseminate these Guidelines in Europe and in emerging markets like India and Africa. It is also leading the O&M working stream of the Solar Energy Standardisation Initiative (SESI), a joint initiative of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Terawatt Initiative (TWI). The objective of SESI’s O&M working stream is to develop freely available O&M template contracts. The round table will also give attendees an opportunity to share their expectations and experience regarding O&M.

“There are three major points that need special attention and focus from the task force. These are awareness, dissemination, and adoption of the Guidelines,” said Papaeconomou.  “The O&M round table debate at SolarPower Summit provides us with a discussion forum to gather specific input as we shape version 2.0 in the months ahead.”

The presentation included:
1.    Introduction – Thoughts on the importance of best practices and standardization and initial findings from SolarPower Europe’s first ever O&M survey

2.    What We Do in SolarPower Europe‘s O&M Task Force
a)    Best Practices Guidelines
b)    O&M Template Contract
c)    Dissemination

3.    The Way Forward? – Round Table Debate