When researching solar for your organization, you're most likely focused on the installation side - making sure whoever you choose as your solar partner has the skill, knowledge, and experience to handle your commercial solar project from beginning to end.
While a commercial solar company's design and installation capabilities are undeniably important, they don't fully capture all the details of the post-sale solar support experience. After all, solar arrays are highly complex systems with critical high-voltage infrastructure designed to operate for decades. Therefore, it's crucial to ensure your solar installer has the resources and longevity to service your system for years and keep it functioning at full capacity for decades.
It's for these reasons, and many more, why we always recommend looking into a solar company's operations and maintenance (O&M) offerings as well. After all, manufacturer warranties are mostly designed to address component failures and not preventative maintenance. A down system can easily result in many thousands of dollars in lost production. A good O&M plan will help your organization maintain system integrity and maybe even spot a potential problem before it becomes a costly system shutdown.
But before dive into our top three benefits of having a robust commercial O&M plan, let's review the basics of commercial solar operations and maintenance.
What is commercial solar O&M?
In general, solar O&M is anything that helps optimize and maintain your commercial solar system over its lifetime. O&M usually falls into three categories: monitoring, preventative maintenance, and repairs.
Although solar is typically a low-maintenance technology, it can be beneficial to have monitoring available to ensure that the system's many panels and interconnections are always working together as intended. Most O&M service providers offer remote monitoring packages that can help spot performance issues, repairs, or even unexpected system outages as quickly as possible.
As with any technology, pre-emptive care and maintenance will ensure your solar energy system's longevity and efficiency. Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid costly repairs and system outages due to equipment issues. Panel cleaning and annual equipment inspections fall under this category.
Even the best-kept solar energy systems might need repairs from time to time. Troubleshooting, diagnostics, manufacturer warranty repairs, replacements, and upgrades might be needed to keep your solar energy system operating at ideal levels.
With these general categories, you might be able to guess why we think every commercial solar system needs an O&M plan. We cover our top three reasons below.
1. Protect your commercial solar investment
Investing in commercial solar is just that - an investment that starts paying you back from the moment your system is turned on. A robust O&M plan helps your organization get the most out of your solar energy system by detecting issues before they result in a breakdown of your system. Consistent maintenance checks can help you save time and money by detecting and resolving a smaller issue before it balloons into more extensive - and costlier - problems down the line. Why wouldn't you want the security of a qualified O&M team to help you with such a large investment?
2. Get the biggest return on your solar system
Routine maintenance and checkups will improve ROI by ensuring efficiency and expanding the system's operational lifespan. Without monitoring, you may not know that your system is down or that components are malfunctioning. A qualified O&M team will detect when your system isn't operating at peak efficiency and help you bring it back into peak production. This will maximize your solar energy production and how much money you'll be adding to your bottom line through solar.
3. Get the most out of your warranties
Signing up for a commercial solar O&M plan will ensure you're getting the most out of your manufacturer warranties. When a component of your system goes out or degrades prematurely, your solar O&M team will be able to check if it's still within the warranty period. If it is, they can work directly with the manufacturer for a replacement and install it through their O&M team. Similar to routine maintenance checks, this can also save ample amounts of time, money, and headaches if parts of your commercial solar energy system fail.
Our in-house commercial O&M team is ready to help with your organization's solar energy system. If your commercial solar system needs an O&M plan, contact our team for an evaluation. We can customize your operations and maintenance plan to your unique solar energy system to ensure you're getting all that you need to maximize its value and production. Click the button below to request an O&M quote.