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Solar O&M Case Study


A turnkey, renewable energy provider with EPC and O&M under one roof.

Project Details

Construction Type

Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Power Services


Xcel Energy

Project Duration

Three-year Service Agreement


100% self-performed by Knobelsdorff

Number of Sites


Effective Availability Guarantee


Summary of Work Performed

The Situation

A solar customer recently turned to Knobelsdorff to fix an issue at a site and eventually hired us to maintain and manage the portfolio of 28 sites. If solar operations are to produce an adequate return on investment, they must be consistently 99% efficient. This means they must be closely monitored and any issues must be immediately addressed.

The Solution

Upon our first review of the portfolio, we uncovered multiple issues. In the first month under our contract, we uncovered and addressed nearly 30 issues to bring the operations up to full productivity.

Our site managers are also master electricians, so they not only uncover issues but they also fix them. This allows for a quick turnaround and little loss of efficiency, even when problems happen. We’ve gotten to know these sites from beginning to end, and we perform all functions, including testing and commissioning.

We’re able to see if a panel is not working to its full capability. If there is a defect, we know how warranties work and manage the claims process.

As a full-service operator, KE provides spare parts management, including storage, receiving and shipping. This capability has proved to be very important due to supply chain issues – because we stock spare parts, we don’t have delays when they’re needed.

Some other details of our relationship with this broad-ranging assignment include:

  • 28 sites all located in the southern half of Minnesota
  • 27 different townships
  • 26 fixed-tilt and two tracker sites
  • Ranging in size from 1MWAC to 5MWAC
  • 125MWDC
  • Portfolio age – 5 years
  • 1000VDC System with 1MW central inverters
  • First Solar Series 4 modules
  • Native prairie vegetation planted on all sites with sheep used to graze most
  • Cloud-based monitoring
  • More than 750,000 MW hours produced since PTO
The Results

We continue to monitor the sites and provide a monthly report unique to the industry. It includes total production of each invertor, total downtime based on outage, full visitor and operator logs, dedicated remote monitoring staff, and dedicated 24/7 service technicians.

Because we have the skills and capability to perform all aspects of the site, we provide unmatched efficiency and productivity for our customers.

*Due to an NDA, we are unable to provide company details. 

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