Providing and realizing performance expectations

Achieving performance expectations is the Holy Grail of most PV O&M activities. But these expectations can vary depending on who is getting the return from a plant, said Chad Sachs, CEO of Radian Generation.

Similarly, performance expectation considerations can change depending on when the return is due. Furthermore, most performance-related decisions will involve a cost-benefit tradeoff. Nevertheless, there are five areas where assumptions often miss the target, Sachs said.

These are snow losses, soiling, over-reliance on warranties, financial management costs and corrective maintenance budgets. “We have some examples where corrective maintenance is 25%, others where it is 3 to 4%,” said Sachs. 

Another common mistake often made in O&M is comparing actual performance to forecast performance, without adjusting for the weather. When the comparison is between actual performance and weather-adjusted forecasts there is often a significant loss, Sachs said.

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