Photovoltaic, new procedures

April 2017

Photovoltaic, new procedures for maintenance and modernization of plants

In February of this year, the Energy Services Manager (GSE) published the "Procedures for the management of maintenance and technological modernization of photovoltaic systems in the energy account". A note of GSE explains that the document, through the dissemination of good practice, "is aimed at reducing and simplifying the performance of operators towards GSE, to facilitate the achievement of the general objectives of environmental sustainability and to Maximize energy production from photovoltaic. "
The procedures describe the general principles of reference, maintenance and technological modernization that involve the variation of relevant data of the plant, and the documentation for each type of intervention. In addition, the cases for which the responsible person is entitled to ask the GSE for the preventive evaluation of the effects that the planned intervention may involve on the approved incentives.
For a greater understanding of the procedures foreseen in the new Reference technical document (DTR), we have drawn up a list of the main positive aspects introduced:

• Certain rules. The procedures implement article 30 of DM 23 June 2016.
• Unlimited manufacturability. All the additional production that can be obtained from the intervention remains stimulated with consequent positive effect on the operation & Maintenance Market (O&M).
• Power increases. A power increase of up to + 1% for plants above 20 kW will be granted.
• Replacement of modules. To replace the modules is no longer required to certify the failure status of the same. This will allow a replacement even just to increase the performance.
• "Forklift" components. It will be possible to use "forklift" components, i.e. temporary replacement components that can be mounted up to 6 months and which can also be owned by third parties.
• Regenerated components. It will also be possible to use regenerated components with a consequent positive effect on the used component market.

A very interesting point of the document is the novelty in the theme of repowering, or interventions of partial or total substitution of the components of the system in order to increase the nominal power and the annual production. Thanks to the new discipline introduced in the field, in fact, it helps to make more clarity in the market and build the basis for a new impetus to investments in the sector, with important simplifications from the point of view authorization.
However, according to some experts, the DTR could also present a series of criticalities that synthesize below:
• Replacement of modules. According to the new procedures, the disposal certificate must be submitted within 60 days, but the disposal rules stipulate that this certificate will be issued within 6 months.
• Reliable times. A criticality not to be underestimated is that the new procedures do not foresee certain times within which the GSE has to give an answer.