Expanding the definition of solar asset management

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By Raj Soi, Vice President of Asset Management for Soltage

Picture this: You perform quarterly analysis on an operating solar project in your portfolio, and you realize that not only are several string inverters not online, but you’ve also missed the short window of time to register the project for a new state solar incentive program. You have committed a common error; you’ve made asset management an afterthought.

 

Technical analysis and market expertise

Solar asset management differs from traditional financial asset management in that you are managing physical assets that have technical components. Having a distinct asset management team with technical expertise can provide oversight over your operations and maintenance (O&M) team and can help to maximize production. You want to capture every photon that hits your site, and having O&M oversight helps you achieve that goal.

Optimizing the revenue from a solar asset goes beyond just optimizing production. Power purchase agreements (PPAs) and incentive programs for solar are increasing in complexity, and if your asset management team is not intimately familiar with the markets your projects are in, you might be leaving money on the table.

 

A system, not a person

While a single asset manager might be able to keep up with a small portfolio in a limited number of markets, it takes an interdisciplinary team to effectively manage a larger, more diversified set of solar assets.

For example, renewable energy credit (REC) markets vary greatly from market to market. Having a member of your team that is actively tracking and trading your RECs can make a material impact on your portfolio’s return on investment (ROI).

PPAs with dynamic pricing components is another area that requires active monitoring and management. Are you maximizing revenue by selecting the right combination of rate components in your PPAs?

With proper knowledge and active management, you can rest assured that you’re fully monetizing the electrons your assets are producing.

Finally, a well-functioning asset management team will enhance your reputation within the solar industry as a professional partner that can be trusted to get the most out of your assets. And using a knowledgeable, educated team of professionals can open up future project possibilities designed to enhance your bottom line.

 

Set Yourself Up for Long-Term Success

Successful owners recognize asset management as critical to the future success of their arrays. After all, poor asset management devalues a portfolio and harms performance, whereas proactive asset management will capture potential upside of a project and increase your ROI.

You get what you pay for: unless you hire the right asset management team for your solar project, you’re bound to let photons, electrons — and ultimately dollars — slip through the cracks.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own, and do not necessarily reflect those held by pv magazine.