The A-Z Operating and Maintenance O&M Costs for Solar Power Systems

Operation and Maintenance OM Costs for Solar Power Systems from A to Z 1

The operational and maintenance (O&M) costs of solar power systems are a common concern for many businesses and investors in the renewable energy sector.

Understanding the importance of this issue, I will share detailed information about the O&M costs for solar power systems, both for self-implementation and for hiring professional O&M services.

The most crucial aspect is to conduct a thorough technical and economic evaluation to determine the most suitable O&M approach for each specific case. This article will provide an overview of the factors to consider, helping you make an informed decision about the operation and maintenance of your rooftop solar power system from A to Z.

If you are interested in this topic, take some time to read this article!

Summary of O&M Costs for Self-Implementation

First, let’s consider the costs of operating and maintaining a solar power system.

Operating and maintaining a solar power system (O&M) is a vital activity to ensure stable, efficient operation and to extend the system’s lifespan. The O&M costs for solar power systems include:

Labor Costs

Labor costs are the largest expense in the O&M of solar power systems. The necessary workforce includes:

  • Operation Engineers: responsible for operating and monitoring the solar power system.
  • Maintenance Engineers: responsible for maintaining and repairing the system.
  • Cleaning Staff: responsible for cleaning solar panels.

The salaries of these personnel depend on their expertise, experience, and the scale of the solar power system.

Material and Equipment Costs

Material and equipment costs include expenses for purchasing and replacing materials and equipment damaged during operation and maintenance. Necessary materials and equipment include:

  • Maintenance materials: tools and materials for maintaining the system.
  • Replacement materials: components and accessories for replacing damaged materials.

Management Costs

Management costs include expenses for managing and operating the solar power system. These costs include:

  • Office supplies expenses.
  • Travel, food, accommodation expenses.
  • Insurance costs.

Other Costs

Other costs include unforeseen expenses beyond the above, such as:

  • Inspection and monitoring costs.
  • Incident handling costs.

The total O&M costs for a solar power system depend on several factors, including:

  • The scale of the solar power system.
  • The system’s capacity.
  • Weather conditions.
  • The system’s operational history.

Typically, the total O&M costs for a solar power system range from 1-2% of the total investment cost of the system.

These risk costs are hard to quantify precisely but can lead to additional expenses for businesses.

This may include costs for employee training, purchasing and installing control equipment, tools, and other related expenses. This raises the question of whether internalizing O&M is a more economical choice.

Summary of O&M Costs for Hiring Services

Another option is to hire O&M services from professional companies in the renewable energy sector. The cost of these services may include regular maintenance packages, performance monitoring, and quick repairs when necessary. One might question whether this expense is worth it compared to self-implementation.

Let’s consider the costs of hiring O&M service packages:

Personnel Costs

Personnel costs are the largest part of O&M expenses. These costs include salaries, bonuses, insurance, and other benefits for the O&M team.

The O&M team includes engineers and technicians with expertise and experience in solar power. Their tasks include:

  • Monitoring the operation of the solar power system.
  • Inspecting and maintaining the system’s equipment.
  • Handling arising incidents.
  • Optimizing the system’s performance.

Depending on the scale and nature of the solar power project, the O&M team may vary in size and expertise.

Material and Equipment Costs

Material and equipment costs include expenses for purchasing, maintaining, and repairing materials and equipment for O&M activities, such as:

  • Monitoring and control equipment for the solar power system.
  • Maintenance and repair equipment for the system.
  • Consumables, such as oil, chemicals, etc.

Monitoring and control equipment helps investors remotely track the system’s operation. Maintenance and repair equipment ensure the system’s stable operation. Consumables are used during maintenance and repair.

Management Costs

Management costs include expenses for management activities, such as:

  • Office supplies and equipment expenses.
  • Electricity, water, internet expenses, etc.
  • Training and skill enhancement for O&M staff.

These costs cover activities like:

  • Human resources, finance, materials, and equipment management.
  • Quality management of O&M services.
  • Customer-related activities management.

Other Costs

Other costs include unforeseen expenses beyond the above, such as:

  • Travel, accommodation expenses for O&M staff when working on remote projects.
  • Waste management costs during O&M.

These costs may vary depending on the scale, nature of the solar power project, and the O&M service packages offered.

The total cost of hiring O&M services can be calculated as follows:

Total Cost = Personnel Costs + Material and Equipment Costs + Management Costs + Other Costs

Depending on the scale, nature of the solar power project, and the O&M service packages offered, O&M costs can vary depending on the system’s scale and the service packages of professional solar power O&M service providers.

What Factors Influence Solar Power O&M Costs?

From the above O&M costs, we understand that these costs are NOT FIXED and will change, depending on the following factors:

  • The scale of the solar power system: Larger systems incur higher O&M costs. This is because larger systems require more labor, materials, equipment, and time for operation and maintenance.
  • Installation location: Systems installed in areas with harsher weather conditions will have higher O&M costs. This is due to weather factors like rain, sun, wind, storms, etc., which can increase the risk of system damage.
  • O&M services provided: More comprehensive O&M services will cost more. Comprehensive O&M services include tasks like monitoring system operation; inspecting and maintaining system equipment; handling arising incidents; optimizing system performance.

Additionally, O&M costs can also be influenced by other factors such as:

  • The system’s warranty period: Systems with longer warranties will have lower O&M costs.
  • The number and expertise of the O&M team: A larger, more skilled O&M team will incur higher costs.
  • The technology used in the system: Systems using more advanced technology will have higher O&M costs.

Depending on their needs and financial capabilities, investors can choose the most suitable O&M service package.

Self-Implementing or Hiring Solar Power O&M Services

Which is the best choice, self-implementing or using O&M management and maintenance services for solar power systems? To help you make a clear decision, here is a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of these two methods.

Ưu điểmNhược điểm
Self-Implementing O&M
  • Easy to monitor and manage daily work, convenient for managing personnel and progress.
  • Can hire professional O&M personnel, helping businesses implement plans and develop effective maintenance systems.
  • Clear control over indicators, avoiding inaccurate reports from unreliable O&M service management units.- More expensive and may not be flexible in adjusting costs.
  • Requires significant investment in O&M support tools.
  • Limited access to new knowledge, slower response to technological and procedural changes.
  • Lack of creativity, prone to following a routine in management and maintenance.
Hiring O&M Services
  • Ensures professionalism, O&M companies will ensure the best performance and results for your solar power system.
  • Guarantees O&M results for businesses. Experienced O&M teams will help businesses achieve goals quickly and sustainably.
  • Saves time, especially when the company lacks professional O&M personnel.
  • Maintains stable cost levels, avoiding uncontrolled fluctuations in O&M costs.
  • May encounter O&M service providers who do not understand the business’s industry, leading to mistakes in maintenance.
  • Need to choose experienced O&M companies to ensure safety.
  • Project management becomes more challenging, may face difficulties in communicating with administrators during incidents.

Project management becomes more challenging, may face difficulties in communicating with administrators during incidents.

Conclusion

That covers all the costs your business needs to prepare, depending on whether you choose to self-implement or use O&M management and maintenance services for your solar power system. We hope the information shared will provide you with an overview of the costs associated with operating and maintaining your solar power system.

If you are looking for O&M solutions, VREnergy offers a variety of services at competitive costs, suitable for businesses. You can visit our website for more details to choose the most suitable service package for your business needs.

Once again, we wish your solar power system management and maintenance project success, achieving maximum efficiency and cost savings!