Industry Leaders Identify Top Solar Energy Risks in Comprehensive Report

Industry Leaders Identify Top Solar Energy Risks in Comprehensive Report

solar pv farm near mountains

Raptor Maps found that power affected by anomalies increased to 2.63% last year as large-scale solar installations become more common.

 

BOSTON, MA, Aug 10, 2022 ― Raptor Maps, the leading provider of solar lifecycle management software, is one of several industry leaders that contributed to kWh Analytics’ 2022 Solar Risk Assessment Report.  The report provides wide-ranging insights into risks associated with the solar industry. 

The 25-page report focuses on three key risk areas:  Financial pressures related to cost overruns, underperforming assets as well as how extreme weather conditions are introducing elements of uncertainty into solar asset operations. 

Raptor Maps’ contribution focuses on solar asset anomalies, finding that power affected by anomalies has surprisingly increased from 1.74% in 2018 to 2.63% in 2021.  The solar software provider used machine learning to analyze anomalies from thermal inspections across 20 GW of utility and C&I systems across the globe.  C&I and utility scale PV systems generate tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional production every year as anomalies are identified, prioritized and efficiently addressed.  The upward trend is largely driven by increases in several balance of system (BOS) anomalies associated with strings, inverters, combiners and trackers in addition to module and sub-module level issues. 

The report includes contributions from kWh Analytics, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, BloombergNEF, SolarGIS, NovaSource Power Services, Solar Support, DNV, NREL, PV Evolution Labs, STS, VDE Americas, PowerFactors and Clean Power Research.

Research from kWh Analytics looks into financial modeling risk, finding that 92% of lost EBITDA of solar assets is due to underproduction.  The causes of lost EBITDA include poor availability, unrealistic production forecasts and lower-than-expected irradiance, according to their findings. 

A contribution from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables focuses on the large cost increases for installing PV systems.  The company’s research notes that new-build solar capital expenditures have increased by 8% year-over-year for a typical 100 MW PV system.  

There are also contributions from firms detailing how extreme weather is affecting solar installations.  A section of the report by VDE Americas presents data showing that comprehensive hail mitigation strategies — in particular, tilting modules so they aren’t horizontal — can greatly reduce power losses.  Research from DNV examines how uneven terrain at solar projects can result in energy losses 6% above pre-construction estimates, but that new backtracking algorithms can recover some of that energy loss.  And findings from Clean Power Research look into how stakeholders need to examine the extent to which smoke from wildfires can affect power yield.  

“The analysis by Raptor Maps and other industry leaders provides valuable data about the evolving risks associated with large-scale solar installations,” explains Raptor Maps CEO and co-founder Nikhil Vadhavkar.  “By quantifying and understanding these risks, solar asset owners and operators can implement mitigation strategies across the solar lifecycle to increase power production, reduce costs and ultimately increase project and portfolio IRR.” 

The report highlights the need for solar energy asset owners and operators to have reliable ways to identify and address anomalies affecting performance on their assets.  Raptor Solar, Raptor Maps’ new software-as-a-service platform, features digital twins (or digital maps) of your solar sites, provides unlimited thermal inspection reports and allows users to normalize data to standard conditions and compare inspection findings over time.  So asset owners and operators can identify issues before they compound, reduce risk and ultimately lift ROI.

 Download a copy of the report here.

 

About Raptor Maps

Raptor Maps offers advanced analytics, insights and productivity software for the entire solar lifecycle. The Raptor Solar software platform features a digital twin of your solar sites, aerial thermal inspections, data standardization and normalization, serial number mapping, warranty claim features, equipment records, mobile tools and more — all powered by their industry-leading data model. With intelligence for the entire solar industry — asset owners, managers, O&M, engineers, EPCs, financiers and OEMs — you can standardize and compare data across installations, increase performance, reduce risk and ultimately lift ROI.

Raptor Maps Announces Former Wood Mackenzie Exec James Wagstaff as CRO

Raptor Maps Announces Former Wood Mackenzie Exec James Wagstaff as CRO

James Wagstaff, Raptor Maps CRO

Wagstaff and other key hires will help the solar analytics software leader advance its mission to make the industry more productive and profitable.

BOSTON, MA, July 15, 2022 ― Raptor Maps, the leading provider of solar lifecycle management software, announced it has expanded its team with several new strategic hires who will advance the software company’s mission to scale the solar industry. The company recently closed its Series B funding.

James Wagstaff joins Raptor Maps as the Chief Revenue Officer to lead the company’s ambitious sales efforts.  Wagstaff is an established sales executive in the energy industry with a track record of delivering high-growth results for energy SaaS and data companies.  Over the past 14 years, Wagstaff has led sales, customer success, and commercial strategy and has overseen domestic and international expansion.  Wagstaff is well-known in the energy industry for commercializing high-value software to help energy executives with their most pressing challenges.

“I couldn’t be more excited about joining Raptor Maps and contributing to the stellar team that co-founders Nikhil and Eddie have built,” says Wagstaff.  “Customers look to Raptor Maps for practical, actionable data and insights to improve their solar operations and financial performance.  I’m looking forward to helping the company make the solar energy industry more efficient and productive.”

Wagstaff’s hiring is part of a larger team expansion at Raptor Maps that includes significant hiring across marketing, product, operations, software, and knowledge.

The hires include Don Nista as Head of Knowledge.  The former Director of Operations for SB Energy, Vice President for O&M at Goldman Sachs, and Vice President for O&M at Cypress Creek Renewables is charged with advancing Raptor Maps’ solar energy industry insights.  Nista will apply his hard-won expertise to the entire utility-scale and C&I solar industry and accelerate Raptor Maps’ ability to deliver value to customers across the solar lifecycle.

“It is a pleasure to join Raptor Maps and lead the company’s vision to provide solar energy industry analytics and knowledge that will transform the renewable sector,” says Nista.

The new hires follow Raptor Maps’ $22 million round of Series B funding with significant contributions from MacKinnon, Bennett & Co. (MKB) and the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, and participation from Blue Bear Capital, DNV, Buoyant Ventures, Congruent Ventures, Data Point Capital and ENGIE New Ventures.  The funding round fuels Raptor Solar, the groundbreaking climate tech software platform that lets utility-scale and C&I solar companies standardize and analyze data, collaborate, optimize PV assets, reduce risk and ultimately lift financial return.

 “Raptor Maps’ industry-leading technology is predicated on the work of the highest caliber talent in renewable energy,” says Raptor Maps CEO and Co-Founder Nikhil Vadhavkar.  “We’re thrilled to welcome James and others to the team and know they will help advance our mission to make the solar energy industry more efficient and profitable.”

About Raptor Maps

Raptor Maps offers advanced analytics, insights and productivity software for the entire solar lifecycle.  The Raptor Solar software platform features a digital twin of your solar sites, aerial thermal inspections, data standardization and normalization, serial number mapping, warranty claim features, equipment records, mobile tools and more — all powered by their industry-leading data model.  With intelligence for the entire solar industry — asset owners, managers, O&M, engineers, EPCs, financiers and OEMs — you can standardize and compare data across installations, increase performance, reduce risk and ultimately lift ROI.

Press Release: Raptor Maps Releases 2021 Global Solar Aerial Inspection Report

Press Release: Raptor Maps Releases 2021 Global Solar Aerial Inspection Report

Above is a first-of-its-kind industry network graph illustrating the collaboration between users in the Raptor Maps software on a subset of data. Smaller clusters tend to be sharing reports within an organization, and longer lines indicate collaboration between organizations.

Software company reveals record-high collaboration between users in annual benchmarking report.

 

BOSTON–Raptor Maps, a leading provider of solar lifecycle management software, released its third annual report on causation and frequency of PV system underperformance. The company utilized its solar data model to query 22 GW of utility-scale and C&I PV systems across 27 countries.

This report leveraged data collected by aerial inspection, a technique specified by owners and operators for commissioning, preventative maintenance, and warranty inspections. Aerial inspection fuses site-specific schematics with thermal and color image data captured under specific conditions by unmanned or manned aircraft.

The results are available for download here.

“This year, we were surprised that each online report was shared to an average of 22 additional users,” reveals Nikhil Vadhavkar, co-founder and CEO of Raptor Maps. “The data owners are authorizing more counterparties to access raw and synthesized data. In particular, we have seen an increased willingness from module manufacturers and EPCs to leverage this data to provide owners and operators with positive resolutions.”

The study encompassed over 70 million modules, 92 module manufacturers, and 1,126 PV systems. On average, Raptor Maps inspections revealed that 1.9% of power production is affected, compared with 1.6% from the previous year. Classifications included in the study include functional units, such as off-nominal inverters and trackers, environmental conditions, such as shading and soiling, and module-level findings, such as cracking and activated bypass diodes.

The global report comes on the heels of a BloombergNEF (BNEF) report forecasting up to 209 GW of new solar PV installations in 2021. 84% of the modules analyzed in the Raptor Maps report are classified as BNEF Tier One. Industry tailwinds include net zero targets from governments and corporations, a stable supply chain, and overall favorable levelized cost of energy (LCOE). Due to this growth, developers, owners, and operators have increasingly required software and data-driven analytics to meet their financial objectives at scale.

Contact us for more information. Technical information regarding data collection protocols, sample contracts, and API documentation is available in our Knowledge Hub.