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First Solar launches EMEA Operations Center

Based in Berlin, the new facility is designed to monitor and enhance photovoltaic plant performance across Europe, Middle East and Africa

First Solar also currently has two Operations Centers located in Arizona, US and Sydney, Australia.
First Solar also currently has two Operations Centers located in Arizona, US and Sydney, Australia.

First Solar, a global provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar systems, and its subsidiary, skytron energy, have announced the launch of a new operations centre in Berlin.

The new facility will oversee PV plant performance in energy assets across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Troy Lauterbach, First Solar’s vice-president for Global O&M, shared: “Photovoltaic solar’s emergence as a mainstream power generation resource, particularly in competitive markets, has made professional and focused Operations and Maintenance (O&M) more relevant than ever before.

He added: “PV plants are now recognized as high value assets; their owners are focused on ensuring that they are optimized to reliably deliver the energy necessary to ensure profitable returns to investors.”

Managed and operated by skytron energy, the EMEA Operations Center will deliver a variety services to aid energy assets under First Solar’s care. These include remote monitoring, real-time supervision and the ability to exert direct control over a plant.

These capabilities will allow the skytron energy’s team to track plant performance, detect and diagnose issues, as well as schedule on-site activities as needed. Part of the service offering also includes energy forecasting.

The facility joins two existing First Solar Operation Centers, the first based in Arizona, US, and the second in Sydney, Australia.

Commenting on the new facility, Jörgen Klammer, managing director of skytron energy, said: “Equipped with the latest technology, this facility is capable of identifying and mitigating potential issues, real-time monitoring of plant performance and providing remote support when and where it is needed.

“In an increasingly competitive energy marketplace, this operations centre will be a critical part of our customers’ efforts to optimize their PV power plants for performance and profitability,” he concluded.

To date, First Solar is one of the largest utility-scale solar O&M providers in the world, boasting a portfolio of over 4,000 megawatts (MW) of PV plants. First Solar O&M recorded an average fleet availability of greater than 99% in each of the last five years, compared to the 98% industry average.

Commemorating the launch of its new operations centre, First Solar have released an infographic detailing the capabilities of the facility.

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019