Let us explain what we mean by this question.
Some of those who put up solar power plants get a nasty shock after they have installed the power plant – the generation is far lower than what they were promised, critical components such as the inverter start giving trouble within a month while they were supposed to be trouble free for years, and overall, the solar power plant seems to require far higher maintenance than what they expected.
If you had come across any such unfortunate customer, you are sure to ask: How do I know that I am not getting ripped off?
Here is our answer to your question:
- Most Solar Power Plants Work Just Fine – Many of the standard metrics for solar power plants (generation, efficiency, low maintenance requirements…) are absolute facts. For every lousy solar power plant, you will see many that are doing as per expectations and some times, exceeding the expectations.
- The Power Plant is only as Good as the Installer – In most cases, the main reason for the poor performance of the solar power plants is the EPC (installer), the key entity who ultimately determines the quality of the power plant. Some installers, to cut costs, cut some important corners – they choose sub-standard panels or inverter, or cables with dubious track records. The corresponding investors go back momentarily happy that they had saved a few thousand rupees, only to later discover to their dismay that they have lost many lakhs or crores they invested.
So, if you have not already figured out the answer to the question: “How do I ensure what I get is what I hear?”, it is, “Ensure you get the right installer/EPC.”