SMA secures 34 MW O&M contract for UK solar farm


The expanding arm of SMA’s operations and maintenance (O&M) division has extended into the U.K. today with the announcement that the German inverter manufacturer has commenced full technical operational management of two solar farms in the country.

The Glebe/Odell Solar Farm – a split-section installation with a combined capacity of 34 MW – commenced commercial operation in March 2015 and is owned by developer bejulo GmbH.

Having worked closely during the four month construction phase – SMA delivered 29 Sunny Central Inverters for the project – the German company was chosen to carry out continuous remote monitoring, regular maintenance, repair and module cleaning of the plant.

According to SMA, this O&M service is a tailored package designed to suit bejulo’s needs, and further augments SMA’s reputation as a company prepared to offer a complete service to its customers.

SMA Service executive VP Bernd Lamskemper said that the company is thrilled to be looking after a major U.K. PV project, thereby expanding the company’s O&M service in Europe. "Thanks to its many years of service experience and our local presence," Lamskemper said, "SMA has the necessary know-how to supervise the system operations reliably and to quickly identify and remedy any irregularities. As a result, we can ensure that the PV system is functioning perfectly at all times and generating the best possible yield."

Commissioned during the busy three-month rush period prior to the scaling back of the U.K.’s Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme on April 1, 2015, the Glebe/Odell solar farm was connected in time to qualify for the RO at a rate of 1.4/MWh.

For SMA, the project forms part of what the company estimates is a 35% share of the British solar market – a share that includes the successful commissioning of a number of U.K. solar farms, all completed using SMA inverters.

"We have been collaborating successfully with SMA for several years," added bejulo GmbH general manager Bernd Schappert. "As an inverter manufacturer and system supplier for this large-scale PV power plant, the project is in the best hands with SMA."