Orta Solar Fast Becoming a Default Choice for UK Solar O&M

Orta Solar managed by the team that previously developed & built the UK’s largest Solar PV portfolio to date, today announces a series of new PV Operations & Maintenance contract wins taking its total being maintained now to over 35MW.

Working either for the original Engineering Procurement & Construction (EPC) company that built the installation or directly for the solar park’s owners, the company is fast becoming a default choice for UK Solar park electrical maintenance. The company’s initial aim is that by summer 2012 it will be operating over 50MW of UK solar PV delivering 50GWh of zero carbon electricity annually.

“Over the last year we have become increasingly aware of the need for a economic, professional and structured service that supports the end client or investor not just by maintaining the system, but by keeping owners professionally informed of it’s performance and overall health.” said Nick Pascoe, Managing Director. “Having previously developed 90MW and constructed / financed 30MW of UK solar, we are very well aware of what Solar Investors want out of a Solar PV maintenance service.” Alongside solar park maintenance Orta Solar also delivers 50-250kW systems and currently has a pipeline of some 50MW of new Solar parks in development, differentiating by their depth of experience and no-nonsense approach to delivering successful multi-site Solar PV installations.

Solar installations being maintained by Orta in Spring 2012 include five 33,000V 5MW parks in Cornwall, a 5MW site in Wiltshire, two 1MW rooftop installations, many 50kW systems and several other multi megawatt solar installations as far apart as Norfolk and Carmarthenshire. With prices for an annual documented inspection package starting at £650 for a 50kW system through to having full time staff on site on the largest systems, Orta are anticipating that their service will be increasingly widely adopted. “We’re setting out to build a great long lasting relationship with clients and support the original installers or developers to ensure that the installed system delivers the output that was intended,” said Kate Covill CEO of Orta Solar.

More than just a panel wash or grass cut, a good PV maintenance service should deliver professionally documented condition and performance reporting, be staffed by Solar PV electrical experts trained in mid voltage DC, authorised for high voltage AC and being manufacture trained
in central or distributed inverter technologies (Orta technicians now service Ingeteam, Kaco, Fronius, SMA & ABB inverters). Elements of the service include:

PV System performance monitoring- real time output monitoring displays, system tuning, daily & weekly documented performance reporting and fault alarm response

Preventative Maintenance- documented incident / issue reporting, preventative inspections frequency to suit agreed O&M obligations. Mid Voltage DC, 1st level central and distributed inverter maintenance, HV routine maintenance.

Corrective Maintenance- Low Voltage 1st level fault alarm response & post storm call out

Corrective Maintenance- High Voltage 1st level & post storm call out (UK Authorised HV Policies and personnel)

Panel Cleaning– panel upkeep using de-mineralised water, essential to retain good performance. Dirty panels produce up to 10% less kWh

Landscape management- sheep grazed or mechanical grass management, tree management, wildlife management

Security, Fire & Pest Control- 24/7 alarm monitoring, 15 minute response

Spares management- storage, warranty replacements and annual stocktaking

“The UK’s major solar power investors have expressed great interest in the service which for them can consolidate PV operations of very many sites into one complete and hassle free package,” says Mr Pascoe. “We are also delivering the UK specific end of the O&M obligations of some of the overseas developers that have built parks in the UK but have no long term permanent presence,” he went on.

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