Clean Solar Solutions (CSS) have long enjoyed membership of the Solar Trade Association, newly branded as Solar Energy UK. Membership benefits have included receiving the latest information in regards to government policy and regulation, information downloads, advertising opportunities and many others. We feel that Solar Energy UK bring us is a voice to our industry. As a body, they speak on behalf of the smaller companies, amplifying concerns and messages that we wish to get to higher stations.
However, one of the other major features of Solar Energy UK membership is engagement in the Working Groups (WGs). These WGs are subdivisions of the solar industry and it seems that no matter which sub-sector of the solar industry that you work in, there is a WG to suit you.
CSS have engaged in the O&M Working Group, recently re-branded and re-focused as the Utility Scale Operations & Management WG, for around 5 years. When our MD, Steve Williams, attended his first meetings, he had a lot to learn. There was a barrage of information being discussed which he had little or no idea about and had to learn new technical phrases and understand technologies and practices.
Over the years, these WGs proved to be invaluable to the growth and development of CSS, focussing the attention of the company on the needs and demands of the ground mounted O&M market. In time, Steve grew in knowledge and was appointed vice-chair of the O&M WG. He has also spoken and been interviewed at a number of events organised by Solar Energy UK.
Due to his growing knowledge of the rooftop sector for O&M, Steve and a number of other WG members recognised a need for a Rooftop version of the WG. There was a huge void in terms of health & safety practices, working practices and frequencies of checks, etc in rooftop solar and this was voiced to Solar Energy UK. They listened and duly set up the Rooftop O&M WG, with Steve appointed as chair.
The Rooftop O&M Working Group only managed one face-to-face meeting prior to COVID restrictions hitting the country hard. However, despite this hinderance, in just 16 months the group compiled V1.0 of the Rooftop O&M Best Practice Guidelines, a document that will professionalise further the rooftop O&M sector by way of advice and best practice guidelines.
The document will aid asset owners and managers to find a reputable rooftop O&M company who adheres to the highest of standards and practices, ensuring the safe working of their staff as far as possible. High quality O&M that is carried out at the proper frequency, by trained staff will ensure that a solar array will enjoy a high ROI and long life.
Steve Williams, MD of CSS concludes this article with this message about Solar Energy UK “They have proved to be an invaluable resource of information and helped a fledgling company as CSS was to gain the exposure it needed in order to thrive in our industry. I hope that the experience I have brought into the industry and knowledge I continue to accumulate will benefit Solar Energy UK as they enter into a new era and phase of growth.
“I would definitely recommend anyone considering becoming a member of Solar Energy UK to do so. Membership can act as a springboard for your business as well as be an incredibly informative organisation. We look forward to enjoying a mutually-beneficial relationship with Solar Energy UK for years to come.”