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First Solar, skytron energy Enhance PV Plant Performance with EMEA Operations Center
The Operations Center will provide industry-leading remote monitoring, real-time supervision and plant control capabilities for photovoltaic (PV) energy assets located across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. It is manned by a specially trained team that will supervise the ongoing operation of power plants under management; tracking performance, detecting and diagnosing issues, and scheduling and advising on-site activities. The facility is also capable of energy forecasting and ensuring that power plants under management conform to grid requirements. First Solar currently operates two Operations Centers located in Tempe, Arizona and Sydney, Australia.
“Photovoltaic solar’s emergence as a mainstream power generation resource, particularly in competitive markets, has made professional and focused Operations and Maintenance (O&M) more relevant than ever before. PV plants are now recognized as high value assets and their owners are focused on ensuring that they are optimized to reliably deliver the energy necessary to ensure profitable returns to investors,” said Troy Lauterbach, First Solar’s Vice President for Global O&M. “First Solar, with its industry-leading fleet availability and track record of being able to enhance power plants to consistently deliver more energy than expected, is well placed to help plant owners meet, and exceed, their energy yield goals.”
First Solar is currently the largest utility-scale solar O&M provider in the world, managing a portfolio of over 4,000 megawatts (MW) of PV plants, each ranging from 2MWAC to 550MWAC in capacity. First Solar O&M has recorded an average fleet availability of greater than 99 percent in each of the last five years, compared to an industry average of 98 percent.
“The Berlin Operations Center is an important component of our service offering in one of the world’s fastest growing geographies. This investment reflects the significant demand we see for professional O&M services and is among a number of differentiators that give us a competitive edge,” said Stefan Degener, First Solar’s Senior Director for O&M in the EMEA region. “We’re now well equipped to support the needs of the established energy markets in Western Europe through skytron energy, with capabilities that span managing existing assets and new projects. We’re also looking to support the fast-growing emerging markets in the Middle East and in Africa, with technology driven solutions that will boost PV’s competitiveness.”
The Operations Center will be managed and staffed by skytron energy, which was acquired by First Solar in 2014. Founded in 1977, skytron energy provides utility-scale PV monitoring, control and supervision systems to solar power plants. It supports more than 6,000 MW of utility scale assets globally, through its advanced monitoring and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) solutions. skytron energy also supplies O&M services for First Solar in Europe.
“Customers whose power plants are managed by this Operations Center will benefit from over 10,000 MW of combined First Solar and skytron energy experience, that spans all commercially viable PV technologies,” said Jörgen Klammer, Managing Director of skytron energy. “Equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology, this facility is capable of identifying and mitigating potential issues, real-time monitoring of plant performance and providing remote support when it is needed and where it is needed. In an increasingly competitive energy marketplace, this Operations Center will be a critical part of our customers’ efforts to optimize their PV power plants for performance and profitability.”
About skytron energy GmbH
skytron® energy has been developing integrated monitoring, control and supervision systems since 1977. Now one of the leading suppliers in the industry, specializing in utility-scale and commercial power plants, it has installed monitoring and control systems in more than 1,000 plants with a total capacity of 6 GWp. The company’s core competencies are plant condition monitoring, power plant control, remote plant supervision, system migration of existing power plants, operation & maintenance, and PV asset management. skytron® energy is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. As a technology leader, it has received a number of prestigious awards, including the highly coveted Solar Industry Award for the skylog® Data Logger System and the InterSolar Award for the PVGuard® Supervision Platform and for the StringGuard® string current measurement system. For further information please visit www.skytron-energy.com
For First Solar Investors
This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include statements, among other things, concerning: our business strategy, including anticipated trends and developments in and management plans for our business and the markets in which we operate; future financial results, operating results, revenues, gross margin, operating expenses, products, projected costs, warranties, solar module efficiency and balance of systems cost reduction roadmaps, product reliability and capital expenditures; our ability to continue to reduce the cost per watt of our solar modules; our ability to reduce the costs to construct PV solar power systems; research and development programs and our ability to improve the conversion efficiency of our solar modules; sales and marketing initiatives; and competition. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as "estimate," "expect," "anticipate," "project," "plan," "intend," "believe," "forecast," "foresee," "likely," "may," "should," "goal," "target," "might," "will," "could," "predict," "continue" and the negative or plural of these words and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and our projections about future events. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements for any reason. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the matters discussed in Item 1A: "Risk Factors," of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other reports filed with the SEC.
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