EF Solare, during 2019 has also undertaken a process of internalization and progressive digitalization of O&M in order to improve the technical and economic performance of the assets.


EF Solare, during 2019, in addition to having designed and launched an ambitious technological modernization plan (revamping), has also undertaken a process of internalization and progressive digitalization of O&M (Operations and Maintenance) in order to improve the technical and economic performance of the assets. The aim is to valorizee assets, maximizinghe energy produced with the same amount of irradiation. A hybrid model has been developed, in which the role of external O&M contractors continues to be very important as a support to internal O&M, but all activities are carried out under the operational management of EF Solare. This involves betterchnical comparison and mutual know-how exchange, to the benefit of the plants’ performance.

How did the process take place?

 EF Solare is a company that has grown over the years through acquisitions. Until 2018 the O&M activities were fully outsourced, EF Solare acted as Asset Manager. In 2019, a process was started, which found a major push in 2020, aimed at creating a solid internal O&M department that could manage more directly the activities of operation and preventive, predictive, corrective and extraordinary maintenance, and that would coordinate external suppliers.

Since January 1st of this year the internalization process has involved 73 plants (206 MWp) in 4 regions, 31 of which are already managed by internal O&M. The objective is to start 2022 with 199 plants (487 MWp) in 10 regions operating in the hybrid formula of internal O&M. EF Solare’s new operating model embraces the motto “Prevention is better than cure”, giving prominence to preventive maintenance activities and predictive controls, with the aim of reducing the frequency of failure and guaranteeing greater longevity and efficiency to plant components. Drone thermography is today in EF a tool increasingly at the service of the O&M department. A fundamental role in the development of the EF operating model is played by the “digitization” in progress, which is leading to an improvement of S.C.A.D.A. systems, to the tuning of the management software for preventive and corrective maintenance (ticketing) and to the development of decision support software starting from data analysis.

The internalization of O&M can only pass through the strategy of storage and procurement of spare parts. EF Solare has identified / set up 3 main warehouses and is in phase of setting up other 7 secondary warehouses. The direct management of the spare parts, associated to the stipulation of framework agreements with suppliers of strategic components, is important to reduce the times of supply and resolution of the fault.

Many synergies have been developed with the HSE area, in order to ensure safe work for EF Solare employees and contractors. In 2019, 918 hours of training were provided among employees and work is underway with the goal of creating a digital user and maintenance manual (updatable) containing all operational procedures and related electrical safety procedures for each plant. The manual will also contain the as built drawings, and all the technical data sheets and handbooks of the main components. It will be the main support tool for internal and external operators.

The company’s projects are developed in the belief that a continuous investment in the proper maintenance of its assets leads to an improvement in energy production with positive effects on the local communities in which EF Solare operates.

To see Marco Ranno’s speech at the smart Conference of Italia Solare and learn more about this topic click HERE.

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