According to a new report from GTM Research and SoliChamba Consulting, Megawatt-Scale PV O&M and Asset Management 2015-2020: Services, Markets and Competitors, the global market for utility-scale PV operations and maintenance will reach 488 gigawatts by 2020, almost triple the estimated market of 133 gigawatts by the end of 2015.
More of this market has come about in the last two years alone. The report identifies the distinct characteristics of markets where new installations remain the primary O&M opportunity, as in the U.S. — versus countries where most of the addressable O&M market consists of older plants, as in Germany and Spain.
The report notes a major trend of the decoupling of operations and maintenance, with half of analyzed O&M providers reporting different megawatt counts under operations compared to megawatts under maintenance.
“With a single vendor providing both asset management and O&M, there is no duplication of supervision and reporting functions, so arguably this results in lower staffing costs for managing the same asset portfolio,” says the report. “But there are real risks that a ‘one-stop shop’ provider may not defend the interests of the owner as fiercely as would an independent asset manager.”
As the market grows, new competition emerges. GTM Research and SoliChamba Consulting segment the market into nine distinct provider types: project developers and EPCs, utilities and IPPs, investors, vertically integrated firms, inverter companies, independent service providers, and affiliated service providers. Each category has its own strengths and weaknesses.