One prominent distinction between solar power plants and many other conventional power plants, especially thermal or nuclear power plants, is the amount of time it takes to install the power plant. While conventional power plants could take a few years from concept/design to commissioning, solar power plants, even those that are reasonably large (10+ MW) can be completed within a few months. Once the PPA has been signed and the financial closure is through, the EPC selected is then responsible for the completion of the project in time.
Usually MW projects of the scale of 1-5 MW takes around 4-5 months for completion – which denotes the time when the EPC starts the design work to the time when the first unit of power is generated from the power plant. A 1 MW plant and 5 MW plant could take the same time for project completion, only the number of personnel employed will be higher.
Solar power plants greater than 10 MW could take longer, depending on logistic delays etc.
In the case of grid connected solar power plants, please note that while the EPC might be able to complete the power plant within the durations noted above and also connect the power plant to the nearest substation, the actual flow of electricity from the power plant to the grid can happen only after all the approvals have been obtained from the local electricity distribution authorities. The timeline for this depends on the specific region and its bureaucratic delays, and is not covered in the timeline given by the EPC.
You might want to check out these questions too on EPCs – Contract Terms and Value Adds
- What kind of guarantees is provided by a good EPC? – Here
- Can you avail a free quote from an EPC before you decide on them? – Here
- How important is the solar EPCs’ transparency in transactions? – Here
- How will the level of sub-contracting done by a solar EPC affect the power plant installation? – Here
- What difference can a solar EPC’s skill in engineering design bring to the power plant? – Here
- What kind of team profile should you look for in a solar EPC? – Here
- How much do EPCs charge for their services? – Here
- What value addition can solar EPCs with good industry partnerships provide? – Here
- What should I be aware of while signing contracts with EPCs? – Here
- What are the certifications you need to look for in an EPC? – Here
- What are the critical value-adds to expect from high-quality solar EPCs? – Here