The Developing Solar LCOE Toolkit and Solar Energy Bankability

solar panels, solar bankability

Less Subsidies = More BOS Focus

Solar energy subsidy incentive schemes are being reduced globally, and PV module prices continue to drop at astonishing rates. This intersection of policy and market economics is creating extensive focus on lowering the LCOE metric via improvement in the balance of systems (BOS) costs. With lower subsidies, project developers are under greater pressure to deliver strong return on money to project financing entities, the ultimate masters of the solar energy industry.

While the PV industry is closing in on the elusive equalization with grid retail and wholesale energy cost,

Quick mount Solar Panel system

Zep's Patented Auto-grounding, Drop-in Mounting Solar Panel Install Solution

creating projects with return on capital that financing companies will commit to financing en masse is requiring reexamination and upgrading of every component in the BOS category. This includes upgrading project development processes, system design tools and process, installation methods, shipping and logistics, array conduits and components, solar panel racking, inverters and monitoring systems, and operations and maintenance.  New technologies that harvest more energy from a PV system like distributed DC-DC optimizers, are key.

solar energy robotic installation, solar bankability

Gehrlicher Solar Panel Install Robot

A number of new tools are evolving which are creating a new LCOE-lowering ‘toolkit’ for project developers. Good examples include new system modeling software, robotic installation, simplified racking, easier-to-install combiner boxes and the aforementioned DC-DC optimizers.

Looking to the future, this developing LCOE toolkit will have a substantial impact on the solar bankability of all sizes of PV projects. It’s likely that a new level of performance, monitoring and cost will create projects which will confer more confidence and visibility in their financial performance, and be placed in a higher bankability bracket than other projects which are done using outdated BOS methods and products.

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