Risks in Solar Project Management to look-out for

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Risks in Solar Project Management

While solar execution and project management can be a complex task requiring careful planning and communication among different stakeholders, managing multiple distributed solar sites consists of phases that are riddled with risks that significantly delay projects, directly impacting their financial returns and installation quality.

Often, project management teams use disparate software tools such as Excel, outdated or generic project management tools not optimised for solar, messengers and personal / company phones for communication, cloud servers for data storage, etc. Such disparate tools only increase the risks further, jeopardising the long-term RoI of solar sites.

Having managed over 300MW of solar sites, we have listed down the 3 best practices that can help you and your project management teams avoid, and navigate such risks.

1. Creating a Standardised Workflow and Plan

The first step towards efficient execution is a well-defined plan, which includes designing replicable workflow packages and associated tasks, as well as timelines and milestones. Furthermore, assigning tasks to team members aids in monitoring progress and promotes responsibility and engagement.

Incorporating a risk register into your plan can help preemptively tackle potential challenges in procurement, transportation, installation, and connection. The ultimate goal of strategic planning is to establish a repeatable and continuously improving process to streamline the execution of several installations over large portfolios of assets.

2. Ensuring Clear, Centralised Stakeholders Communication

Solar installations involve a diverse array of stakeholders, from tenants and landlords to financiers and local councils, installers, and internal management teams. Poor communication and management, or communication using disparate apps and tools can lead to project delays, issues with quality control, etc, directly impacting the ROI of projects. In such cases, effective communication and a centralised system ensure that everyone is well-informed and engaged.

Additionally, regularly updated stakeholder registers and centralised communication channels are essential tools in solar project management. A user-friendly dashboard in such cases ensures different stakeholders have access to appropriate levels of information so they can focus on their core tasks and not get bogged down by different software tools that are not optimised for solar projects.

3. End-to-End Data and Document Management

Each solar project can end up generating hundreds of documents during its installation, such as array design, single line diagrams, electrical and civil construction designs, pictures to verify different stages during the installation process, to name a few. These documents keep adding over the rest of its life-cycle that can be as long as 25 years.

Often, project management teams, due to the pressure of delivering projects on time, miss documenting these and end up storing those on several different locations such as internal cloud, office devices, personal or business phones, hard / paper documents, or their memory.

From our years of experience, we have seen that poor document management can lead to issues a few years down the line when insurance or warranty issues arise. We have also seen solar portfolio acquisition deals failing as funds could not conduct thorough due-diligence of the portfolio due to poor document management.

Considering a solar installation’s lifespan of at least 25 years, a centralised, well-organised document storage solution is essential, especially for large portfolios of assets.

What Can You Do?

Current standards for solar project management often involve cumbersome email exchanges and document transfers, leading to inefficiencies. However, innovative project management platforms, like PowerMarket’s dashboard, can provide an overarching view of your projects at a glance, and let you dive deep into details as needed.

Looking to streamline your solar project execution? Reach out to us at PowerMarket – we’re here to help.

Stay tuned for Solar! PowerMarket brings you key updates and emerging insights every month to optimise your energy and make solar simple.

PowerMarket is a B2B software-as-a-service, solar management platform. It uses satellite imagery and advanced AI to automate and digitalise:

  • Solar planning and feasibility analysis
  • Solar execution and project management
  • Solar monitoring and portfolio management

Saving you over 90% of your time and resources, so you can focus on what you do best!

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