Industry-First EPC Best Practice Guidelines Set Global Standard For Solar Sector

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During the virtual Solar Quality 2020 event, SolarPower Europe’s Lifecycle Quality Workstream presented an industry-first Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Best Practice Guidelines, version 2.0 of its industry-standard Asset Management Best Practice Guidelines, as well as the Asset Management Best Practice Mark, a voluntary quality label for providers that includes a self-assessment checklist.

The growth of the global solar industry is driven by cost reduction, which is achieved by reducing operational costs through standardisation and adopting the latest technological developments to increase efficiency. Together, these guidelines contribute to optimised performance for all lifecycle phases of the solar PV plant, incorporating industry
experience from more than 30 leading solar experts.

Adele Ara, Chair of the Lifecycle Quality Workstream and Head of Global Business Operations at Lightsource bp, said: “I am very pleased that the Lifecycle Quality Workstream has delivered a new best practice guideline, providing insight about the construction phase of solar PV projects lifecycle. This guideline complements the publications on O&M and Asset Management, providing a holistic overview of solar PV plants lifecycle, together with practical recommendations to minimise risk and facilitate the long-term operations of the solar plants. The debate has been lively and contributions
extremely pragmatic, it has been a pleasure working with all members of the Workstream on this new publication, which I am sure the industry will find extremely insightful.”

Ralph Gottschalg, Vice-Chair of the Lifecyle Quality Workstream and Director of Fraunhofer CSP, said: “I am delighted to proudly launch, on behalf of the team of the Lifecycle Quality Workstream, the EPC Best Practice Guidelines. The development of these new guidelines was started on direct request of industry, which was aired in December last year at a joint workshop with the PV-EERA Subproject Reliability and Durability. SolarPower Europe responded to this need by establishing the task force which I had the pleasure to work with for the last year. These new guidelines enable quality
assurance at a much earlier stage of a project, reducing overall risks, and thus costs, in asset development at all scales. I am grateful to the excellent collaboration I experienced with all the colleagues writing who did an amazing job and hope that these guidelines will enable industry to meet required cost reductions.”

Alden Lee, Vice-Chair of the Lifecyle Quality Workstream and Head of Solar Procurement, Logistics and Quality at ABO Wind, said: “Today, solar energy is the cheapest source for electricity generation in most countries. Since this statement is only valid for solar power plants which run smoothly throughout their expected lifetime, SolarPower Europe’s Workstream wants to help stakeholders with these guidelines to make it happen and to unleash solar’s huge potential – reducing CO2 emissions and fostering GDP growth at the same time.”

Máté Heisz, Head of International Cooperation at SolarPower Europe and Coordinator of the Lifecycle Quality Workstream, said: “The Lifecycle Quality Workstream has consistently produced globally-referenced documents for quality assurance and management. The new EPC guidelines, and the latest version of the Asset Management guidelines, will continue to help to improve solar PV plants’ quality around the world. The growth of the solar industry relies on high performance from solar plants, and the Workstream will continue to develop our leading documents to ensure solar installations reach their full operating potential.”

Solar Quality 2020 is the new name for the market-leading O&M and Asset Management conference, which has been running for the past four years. SolarPower Europe’s Lifecyle Quality Workstream works on standards and practices that the solar industry, financial community, and all the relevant stakeholders can benefit from.

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