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The recommendation O&M stands for Operation & Maintenance and in the field of photovoltaic identifies plant management and maintenance operations. That is a market O&M, which is worth 350 million euros a year and acquires importance in the light of the installation.
Purpose ofO&M is to increase theefficiency of photovoltaic systems slowing down its obsolescence and maximizing its yield. This is essential because, with reduced incentives and reduced taxation (see the 'tax on the Sun'), the return on investment in photovoltaics depends a lot on efficiency.
Increasing the efficiency of a 1 MWp photovoltaic system by 5%, which can be achieved with proper maintenance or optimization, can increase its yield for an estimated economic value of between 15,000 and 28,000 euros per year.
On the other hand, the average cost of photovoltaic maintenance is about 25 thousand euros for each megawatt over the life of the plant. A figure that, compared to the possible returns, seems decidedly convenient.
Speaking of the market, a characteristic of that O&M in the field of photovoltaics is to be, if not exactly zero km, very local. In fact, maintenance must be timely and this makes it very Italian, with local operators (actually few) highly specialized in redevelopment of photovoltaic systems existing.
Currently in Italy there are about 520 thousand photovoltaic systems, mainly located in the southern regions of the country. The new installed is tending to decline after the investments encouraged in past years and this increases the strategic importance of a good performance of the installed.
At the heart of the business O&M there are photovoltaic parks, but also and perhaps above all the systems built on the ground or on the roofs of the buildings of SMEs and large companies. Management and maintenance services generally include technical audits, performance analysis and alarm control.
To do O&M in photovoltaics it means defining and putting into practice an optimized management of interventions which includes: planning of ordinary activities on the basis of production indices, continuous analysis of critical components and predictive management of interventions.