Project managers in the solar industry have their work cut out for them. Keeping track of project milestones, ensuring that projects are on schedule and on budget, and dealing with unexpected setbacks can be daunting. But by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), project managers can minimize problems and ensure that solar projects stay on track. In this blog post, we will discuss the Top 5 Solar KPIs that you should be tracking in order to keep your projects on track!
Read to the end for 5 more bonus metrics to ensure your team is monitoring what matters most!
The Importance of KPIs for Solar Project & Asset Managers
Solar projects are complex, with many moving parts and stakeholders. This can make it difficult to keep track of everything that is going on. KPIs can help solar project managers by providing a clear overview of what is happening on a project and where there may be potential problems.
As a project manager, it is important to be aware of the different KPIs that you should be tracking in order to keep your projects on track. By tracking these KPIs, you will be able to identify issues early on and take corrective action to prevent problems from occurring.
Which Project Processes Benefit from KPI Tracking?
Solar project managers should track KPIs related to project cost, schedule, and performance, operational impacts and solar system performance.
Project Cost KPIs
Project cost is one of the most important KPIs for solar project managers. By tracking project costs, project managers can ensure that projects are on budget and identify areas where cost savings can be achieved.
There are a few different ways to track project costs. One way is to track the total project cost relative to the budget. This can be done by tracking the percentage of the budget that has been spent as the project progresses. Another way to track project costs is to track the cost of each individual component of the project. This can help solar project managers to identify areas where costs are higher than expected and take corrective action.
Project Schedule KPIs
Another important KPI for solar project managers is project schedule. By tracking the project schedule, project managers can ensure that projects are on track and identify potential delays.
There are a few different ways to track project schedules. One way is to track the project milestones and compare them to the planned schedule. This can help solar project managers to identify delays and take corrective action. Another way to track project schedules is to track the number of days that each task takes to complete. This can help solar project managers to identify areas where tasks are taking longer than expected and make changes to future project plans or make processes more efficient.
Project Portfolio Performance KPIs
More often than not, PM’s will be managing multiple projects. Whilst this can be complex, it offers the opportunity to do cross project comparisons to really see how each project is performing compared to baseline projections and the original project plan. By tracking the overall project performance, project managers can see across their portfolio of solar projects, identify where there may be issues and investigate further.
Operational Solar KPIs
As well as project-based KPIs, there are also operational KPIs that solar project managers should be aware of. These KPIs can help solar project managers to track the performance of the operations team and identify areas where improvements can be made in terms of managing materials, supply chain and logistics constraints, and installation/servicing tasks.
Solar System Performance KPIs
Customer satisfaction in the solar industry is intrinsically linked to the performance of the assets that are being managed, as well as the transparency of reporting that is given to the customer.
Some of the operational KPIs that solar project managers should track include:
Solar PV system performance
This KPI tracks the performance of the solar PV system. Solar project managers can use this KPI to identify issues with the system and plan to make changes to improve its performance.
Energy production – This KPI tracks the amount of energy that is being produced by the solar PV system. Solar project managers can use this KPI to ensure that the system is operating as expected and identify any issues that may be affecting its performance.
Solar system uptime
This KPI tracks the amount of time that the solar PV system is operational. Solar project managers can use this KPI to ensure that the system is available when it is needed and identify any issues that may be reducing its availability for customers.
Solar system reliability
This KPI tracks the number of faults that occur with the solar PV system. Solar project managers can use this KPI to identify issues with the system and plan to make changes to servicing plans to improve its reliability.
Solar PV system maintenance costs
This KPI tracks the costs associated with maintaining the solar PV system. Solar project managers can use this KPI to identify areas where cost savings can be made in terms of servicing and maintenance to improve overall ROI of the asset.
Top 5 KPIs to Help Drive Profitability in the Solar Industry
1. ROI – Return on investment
ROI is always an important KPI for any type of business, but it is especially important in the solar industry where there is a lot of upfront investment required. Solar project managers can use this KPI to track the performance of their projects and ensure that they are meeting targets for ROI.
It’s a good idea to go back and review the ROI at regular intervals throughout an asset’s existence so you can figure out any declines in expected ROI as well as the cause to ensure that future asset management plans are not impacted the same way.
2. NPV – Net present value
Over time, the Net Present Value of certain assets can decline due to usage, age, or technology obsolescence. Solar project managers can use this KPI to track the performance of their projects and ensure that they are meeting targets for NPV.
This is another metric where it’s a good idea to review at regular intervals so you can make course corrections as necessary to keep the NPV from declining too much.
3. IRR – Internal rate of return
The Internal Rate of Return is a more granular way to look at the concept of ROI. This KPI can help solar project managers to ensure that their projects are meeting targets for profitability. Consider IRR to be a form of interest on your investment. It tells you how much money you make each year on the money you invest. It’s critical to keep track of the IRR while a project is underway in order to guarantee successful outcomes
4. PR – Performance ratio
This is a crucial indicator for solar power generation plants. The performance ratio compares the actual electricity generated to predicted figures. Site layout and weather, among other factors, will reduce the actual performance of an asset so it is important to keep a close eye on performance trends to ensure profit targets are achieved. A poor PR indicates that technical difficulties are preventing an asset from operating at maximum efficiency, which can trigger the need for proactive servicing outside of the standard maintenance schedule.
5. PA – Plant availability
Plant Availability KPIs give you a score on your plants overall uptime. When a plant goes down due to planned or unplanned outages, this reduces the amount of time that it can generate electricity, which in turn impacts your power generation capacity. Having a targeted plant availability goal, and tracking PA as a KPI will help ensure that your targets are being achieved and service level agreements are being met.
There are a number of KPIs that solar project managers can use to track the performance of their projects and ensure profitability. ROI, NPV, and IRR are important financial KPIs to track, while PR and PA give insights into the operational efficiency of an asset. By tracking these KPIs on a regular basis, solar project managers can make course corrections as necessary to keep their projects on track and profitable.
SolarSuccess by Blu Banyan comes with a wide range of KPIs ready to implement on your users dashboards with the click of a button. These KPI portlets help make the day to day managing and monitoring of your solar projects easy and ensure that any issues are detected and rectified as quickly as possible.
If you are interested in learning more, reach out to one of our team members for an obligation free discussion.
5 BONUS METRICS TO EMPOWER YOUR SOLAR BUSINESS:
This article is about:
KPIs for the solar industry, key performance indicators, solar power plant, actual production, actual plant performance ratio, actual energy production, project performance data, weather adjusted energy budget, reference energy production, investment performance ratio, default energy budget, theoretical energy outputs, operating performance ratio, asset management processes, actual production relates, right key performance indicators, reference performance ratio, actual irradiance data, performance ratio, energy budget, solar plant, financial performance, expected production, solar panels, solar operators, solar farms, inverter performance, asset manager, budget predicted, physical assets, asset managers, data challenge, renewable energy, resource index, pv plant, energy loss, weather adjusted, real world conditions, pv modules, specific yield, better understanding, device level, thermal losses, huge amounts, weather conditions, various metrics, remaining losses, solar energy, conduction losses, energy, production, solar, industry, data, electricity, metric, losses caused, system, period, achieve, measure, inverter, plant, actual, grid, operation, health, enable, site, inverters, quality, performance, track, relationship, technology, capacity, investors, generated, performing, produced.