Retrofits and Upgrades for Utility-Scale Solar Plants

 

On this episode of Track to the Future from Array Technologies, host Tyler Kern and guests Ron Corio, Travis Rose and Sabah Mahmood explore a topic gaining serious traction in the world of utility-scale photovoltaic powerplants – retrofits and repowering. This increase in retrofit and repowering projects has been driven by the sheer amount of innovation in the solar energy industry. All components of a PV plant have felt the impact of these leaps in technology, from modules and storage to inverters, trackers and everything in-between.

“Solar power plants evolve, and technology evolves,” Corio said. “There are a lot of different kinds of utility-scale systems out there, and some of them don’t perform as well as others. … There’s always an economic analysis to look at whether or not it makes sense to reinvest in a project and upgrade it.” By engaging in economically logical retrofit and repowering projects, PV plant operators can enjoy lower LCOE, increased yields, decrease in O&M costs and a plant that’s more on-par with the state-of-the-art ones being constructed today.

At OCI Solar Power’s Alamo I solar farm, the decision to repower was made after just six years, with trackers being upgraded, bifacial modules installed and more. This improvement in overall operation aligns with Array’s mission of helping solar plants optimize every aspect of their production and operation and maximize project returns.

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