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Best Practices Guide for Photovoltaic System Operations and Maintenance 

A best-practices report on photovoltaic (PV) operations and maintenance (O&M) released by NREL and the PV O&M Working Group provides valuable insights on improving the performance of PV systems, extending their lifespan, and saving costs. The report is an expanded edition of an interim report published in 2015.

The guide offers information and recommendations aimed at increasing the effectiveness of O&M services, reducing O&M and transaction costs, improving PV asset transparency for investors and rating agencies, and providing an industry framework for quality management. Checklists throughout the guide help users take concrete steps to improve their O&M practices.

The guide is most relevant to fleets of third-party-owned, grid-connected PV systems—in rooftop and ground-mounted configurations—for residential, commercial, industrial, and utility-scale applications. It covers a broad suite of activities and services that include asset management, monitoring, operations, preventive maintenance, repair, and disposition, as well as dependencies such as different mounting settings and site conditions (e.g., bird populations, snow, pollen, and high temperatures).

The guide is an output of the PV O&M Working Group, which consists of solar stakeholders across the value chain—as well as experts from NREL, Sandia National Laboratories, and SunSpec Alliance.

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This research is supported by the Energy Department's Solar Energy Technologies Office.