WASHINGTON — The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has launched a new Operations and Maintenance (O&M) working group to address issues surrounding the reliable production of electricity from solar panels and what’s required to ensure panels are properly maintained.

Bringing together the experience of its members, which include installers, owners, service providers, and operators, this working group will aim to standardize O&M contracts and set service expectations. Establishing programs to educate consumers will be one point of emphasis in the group’s monthly meetings.  

“The topics we’re going to discuss in this group are critical to the industry’s success and I’m eager to help facilitate that conversation,” said Jimmy Bergeron, vice president of operations and maintenance for SolarCity and chair of the O&M working group. “I’m hopeful we will see advancement in the creation of reasonable contracts, defining a benchmark for quality O&M, as well as taking on any other topics which our members want addressed. We’re looking forward to learning from the collective knowledge that SEIA members bring to the table.”

SEIA also announced the relaunch of its Installer Safety & Workforce Development working group. This group focuses on labor topics including installer safety, training, insurance, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Its members include installers, developers, plant operators, and owners.

“Protecting the safety and health of everyone in the solar industry is not only a good business strategy, it’s the law,” said John Schehl, executive director of Roof Integrated Solar Energy (RISE) and chair of the Installer Safety & Workforce Development working group. “It can be challenging to balance quality, productivity, and safety, while also achieving sustainable profitability. The members of the IS&WD working group are dedicated to developing strategies, programs, and tools that all solar installers — rooftop and ground-mount — can embrace to help achieve these goals.”

SEIA members interested in joining either working group can contact the association’s director of codes and standards, Evelyn Butler, at ebutler@seia.org for additional information.

For more information about the SEIA, visit www.seia.org.

Publication date: 10/28/2016