Edmee Kelsey, CEO of solar asset management company 3megawatt, talks with Solar Power World editor Kelly Pickerel about the latest trends in asset management and why solar project owners would benefit from partnering with a knowledgeable company.
The role of the asset manager is to have good relationships with all the vendors and subcontractors that are involved in a solar project. They will generally oversee that the plant is maintained as per the projet contract with the subcontractor and intervene if there is a problem. They are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the investors get their investment back plus the returns that they are expecting.
One of the challenges that asset managers face today is that the project documentation is getting more and more complex. This means that it is harder to keep up with compliance under the contracts. In addition the billing function is becoming a lot more time consuming. Whereas electricity generated has been compensated by feed-in-tariffs with fixed rates in many markets, the electricity generated today is sold under more complex PPAs, which require a more solid billing function. As the market is getting more mature, the financing structures are getting more complex and the lenders more demanding. This means that the solar asset manager has a lot of additional work on his plate. But interesting work, as long as some of the repetitive tasks can be automated.