Workshop on O&M Best Practices Guidelines for Solar in India

European and Indian companies develop best practices guidelines for O&M for solar adapted to the Indian market together

On 4 March 2020, member companies from the National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) and SolarPower Europe (SPE) who operate solar power plants met to develop Best Practices Guidelines for Operations and Maintenance (O&M) in India at a workshop supported by IGEF-SO. Dr. Christine Falken-Grosser, Head of Division, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and NSEFI’s chairman Mr. Pranav Mehta inaugurated the workshop. Dr. Falken-Grosser highlighted the importance of sharing business to business experiences and made it clear that the German ministry is delighted to support cooperation in this field as decided during the last official Subgroup II meeting under the Indo-German Energy Forum. Shri Pranav Mehta also focused on the mutual benefits of learning from each other and particularly stressed the close relationship with Germany.

After the opening remarks, Mr. Máté Heisz, Head of International Development at SPE, presented SolarPower Europe’s guidelines for operation and maintenance to kickstart the discussion. Ms. Kelly Mermuys, country manager India at the consultancy and software company 3E, gave an overview of their experience with solar projects in India before various representatives of solar companies shared their points in a vivid exchange. Digitalisation and a lack of awareness for O&M especially among owners of smaller residential systems were identified as some of the major points to be addressed in the adapted O&M guidelines. In general, the participants agreed that keeping the panels clean poses the potentially biggest challenge in India and is the underlying issue for many O&M tasks. Further topics included monitoring and evaluation as well as digitalisation.

After the exchange of experiences, the participants set up working groups for different fields of the O&M guidelines and agreed on a timeline. These working groups that consist of both Indian and European solar companies will hold regular meetings and conference calls under the auspices of SPE so that the Best Practices Guidelines for O&M of solar power plants in India can be presented at RE-Invest in October 2020.

Click on the respective names to download the presentations by Máté Heisz (SPE) and Kelly Mermuys (3E) and here to download the guidelines and the checklist.