The Africa edition of the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Best Practice Guidelines was developed by SolarPower Europe in cooperation with GET.invest, a European programme which mobilises investments in decentralized renewable energy, supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria. The report was launched at the 6th Energy Access Investment Forum organised by the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) and supported by GET.invest. Building on Version 4.0 of SolarPower Europe’s O&M Best Practice Guidelines, this edition is adapted to the Sub-Saharan African context. It is a joint effort with ten African solar and renewable energy industry associations, from Ghana, IvoryCoast, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In this Africa edition, all chapters of the original document have been thoroughly reviewed and revised with a focus on unique aspects of Sub-Saharan Africa. A key objective was to make sure that this edition will also be useful for operators of small and medium-size C&I installations. For this, the requirements for smaller installations were tweaked where necessary, such as for simplified Documentation Management Systems or Monitoring Tools. Water scarcity is also taking into account as an O&M issue in many regions of Africa. This has certain repercussions for operators’ environmental and social responsibilities, and the guide encourages operators to reduce the amount of water used for module cleaning through various innovations. Finally, a new chapter is introduced on “O&M for standalone solar systems with storage”, a chapter to assist in the application of best practices to off-grid systems. These are only some examples from the many updates implemented in order to make these Guidelines as useful as possible for solar businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa.