SolarPower Europe has launched the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Best Practice Guidelines. Following a year of intensive work, we are very proud to present this pioneering document, which involved over thirty leading solar experts including EPC providers, and also O&M contractors, asset owners, investors, digital solutions providers, technical advisors and banks from Europe and around the world.
Solar PV is a rapidly maturing industry. The growth of the global solar industry has been phenomenal, with a sustained double-digit annual growth rate for the last three decades. This rapid growth is due to an equally impressive reduction in the cost of the energy produced by the technology. Sustaining this cost reduction is critical to maintaining the growth against the competition of other energy technologies. These Guidelines aim to contribute to further cost reductions.
In order to create synergies with other lifecycle stages, in particular O&M, SolarPower Europe’s O&M Task Force became the Lifecycle Quality Workstream in 2020. These Guidelines were developed in the Lifecycle Quality Workstream that brought together over 30 leading experts from all solar segments and allows a productive dialogue and feedback loop to benefit from lessons learnt across the entire lifecycle.
In this document, we systematically go through the Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPC) phases of a solar power plant. It is assumed that quality is something which goes through the entire process, and the earlier it is introduced in the process, the lower the overall system build and O&M costs. The links between the “E”, “P” and “C” stages, as well as the links between Development and EPC, and between EPC and O&M are described in detail to minimise handover problems, which increase costs at later stages, and provide suitable risk management tools. In addition to the core phases of EPC, we covered dedicated chapters on important topics such as Risk Management, Environment, Health & Safety, Personnel & Training, Key Performance Indicators and the contractual framework for EPC projects.