1. What is Bester’s current level of activity in operation and maintenance projects?
Bester currently carries out the O&M 93 photovoltaic plants for a total of 300 MW of power peak, mainly in European countries like Italy, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Romania and Spain.
We are constantly growing according to market needs. Other countries where we are active and offer our services and are: Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Iran, and we are exploring in the Middle East.
2. What is Bester’s guarantee with its customers?
Bester directly guarantee the performance (production) and plant Bester directly guarantees the performance (production) and availability (hours of operation) of the plant. In each case, a percentage production value is guaranteed based on the radiation received. This is a measure of objective production; in some cases the energy produced in kWh is directly guaranteed.
That is, Bester guarantees that the client that hired it as O&M will have a minimum production. If this production is not fulfilled, we have penalties equivalent to its economic loss, with which we basically work ensuring the production of the plant.&O&M will have a minimum production. If this production is not fulfilled, we have penalties equivalent to its economic loss, with which we basically work ensuring the production of the plant.
For plants that have not been built by Bester, an initial audit is performed in which the values to be guaranteed and possible or necessary improvements are determined for the profitability objective that the client seeks.
3. Describe briefly the complete Bester Operation and Maintenance service. What does Bester offer to the customer?
Maintenance includes a continuous service of preventive, corrective activities, maintenance of stock, attention to incidents, continuous monitoring in hours of sun, and a constant update of the state of the plant.
In addition, weekly, monthly and annual reports are established with production information, incidental activities, etc. There is also a technical advisory service in the event of force majeure or external to the maintenance.
4. What are the most common incidents that can occur in a plant during the O&M phase?
The most common occurrences are changes of protections that act as a cut before weather agents or the electricity grid. Other common occurrences of major relevance are the investor stops, in which highly qualified personnel are required or even a direct contact with the inverter manufacturer, and faults in high voltage components.
5. What is Bester’s response time to possible incidents?
Depending on the priority level, between 2h and 24h. Extreme situations would be: a production stop that requires the immediate presence of the technician on the field, or a failure of partial communication of a component that does not affect the production. In any case, the communication with the client is in real time (a range of 15min) in terms of notifying the problem and an initial resolution approach.
6. What types of maintenance does Bester perform on plants?
We perform a full or partial maintenance according to the specific needs of each plant: the basics are a preventive, corrective maintenance and attention to incidents.
Preventive Services include preventive inspection of the equipment that makes up the photovoltaic plants: structure, modules, inverters, etc., monitoring and remote control of the operation of the system, reports with production data, radiation, temperature, etc.
Corrective maintenance can range from replacing defective materials to technically adapting the plant through a change of regulations, certifications, etc. Repairs: inverters, transformers, followers, etc.
A stock management, insurance of O&M, communication with the power company, power regulation, etc.
Other options that may or may not be included as predictors are photovoltaic modules analysis, such as IV curves and thermographs.
7. Why choose on the Bester O&M service? What is its differential value?
As a specialist in the sector, Bester analyzes the needs of each customer. It is very common for a client to want to dissociate himself from the technical aspects of the asset and receive technical advice with assurance of the profit. Bester assures that the plant will produce what is expected, if it does not, we make the difference.
8. How do you see the future of renewable energies? Which countries are investing the most?
I believe that renewable energy is the future, not only because of the expiration date of fossil fuels, but also because of the equal access to resources. While few countries have significant reserves of coal or oil, they all have a significant renewable resource, be it sun, wind, water, biomass, etc.
Public and private entities should invest in the sustainable development of the planet, contributing our grain of sand in each of the countries that make it up.
Of course there are countries that do more than others. China is leading the way by investing in renewable energy, the world’s largest solar energy producer. And the United States is the largest producer of wind power. Nevertheless, both do have a long way to go in order to reach their goals in terms of consumption of renewable energy of all the energy consumed by its population.
The region that Bester is betting primarily in is Latin America, where almost two-thirds of the electricity consumed comes from clean sources. They are making a large investment in renewables, with a forecast to increase it exponentially in the coming years.
9. Have you always wanted to dedicate yourself to the renewable energy sector?
I have always wanted to dedicate myself to engineering. It was during the university years and first professional experiences when, after seeing different sectors, the renewable energies sector attracted me the most.
10. What is most satisfying of your daily activity at Bester?
As an engineer, to be in contact with a variety of technologies in a constant challenge to give the best technical solution, the great variety of work, from a small photovoltaic on a building, to large parks of 50MW, or technologies that pose other kinds of challenges such as biomass or wind. But the most satisfactory is on a global level, being part of that piece that helps progress and bet on green and sustainable technologies. In a market economy based on profitability and economic margin, Bester strives for this profitability to be achieved through promoting sustainable development.