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Originally published in Solar Builder Magazine, January 2023.
In a recent interview published in Solar Builder, James Whittemore, Senior Director of QA/QC at Enertis Applus+, shares his experience and insights into QA/QC processes in purchasing PV modules and related supply issues.
Whittemore mentioned that EPCs and any project stakeholder should reach out for Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) services prior to selecting the PV/BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) equipment, technology, or Bill of Materials, and before negotiating the supply agreement. If not written well, a supply agreement can block a purchaser from assuring the quality of their purchased assets. “If you have no input on the quality of your purchase early on, then you are taking an expensive gamble”.
Regarding the negotiation process, the PV modules market continues to give sellers the advantage. The procedure is becoming less combative than last year. However, it’s seen that suppliers initially agree to terms that afterward, they fail to honor. This is because they are not financially motivated.
On the subject of monitoring any emerging component or manufacturing breakthroughs, the lithium cell supply becomes more constrained by a race for raw materials or by getting swept up into forced labor enforcement, the incentives help non-lithium BESS products suppliers (iron flow, zinc, salt, etc.) to grow their market share in standalone and PV-tied projects.
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