U.S. utility-scale developers should focus on components and assembly methods which minimize labor costs to address the rising influence of soft costs, Ran Fu, lead-author of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)’s latest Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark report, told New Energy Update.
Advanced inverter designs and modular power electronics can place PV plants at the heart of U.S. grid modernisation plans, Charlie Gay, Director of the Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Office, told New Energy Update.
Increasing cost competition and performance demands are prompting new contract terms between inverter suppliers and PV operators which prioritize long-term reliability and share revenue risk, industry experts told New Energy Update.
Optimized placement of operations and maintenance costs within project finance structures can maximize returns in the increasingly-competitive utility-scale market, Nicolas Gourvitch, Director at Green Giraffe, a renewable energy financial advisory firm, said.
A new industry-standard PV operations and maintenance contract and best practice guidelines will help cut primary and secondary market costs and lower barriers to entry, Vassilis Papaeconomou, Managing Director of Alectris and Chair of SolarPower Europe's Best Practices Task Force, said.
Utility-scale solar developers are increasing upfront investments in rigorous quality assurance programs to secure return-on-investment amid aggressive price competition, industry experts told New Energy Update.
Operations and maintenance companies are tapping growing datasets to implement more detailed cost benchmarking as advancements in connective IT raise the potential for performance gains, company executives told New Energy Update.
Progressive regulatory frameworks and rising banking interest could see Saudi Arabia surpass its renewable energy targets faster than expected and future tenders should evolve to support smaller market entrants, leading industry participants said at the MENA New Energy 2017 conference on April 25.