STS News

Mar 2022

STS speaks at PV ModuleTech 2021

Best Practices QA/QC for Superior Bankability

On March 9, STS spoke at the PV Modules Bankability session.

Based on STS’s factory reality findings, Frédéric (VP of Strategic Development at STS) shared his perspectives on PV modules suppliers audit and the key performances consideration for supplier selection, and so on, all that to secure the bankability of your solar assets.

Are 10% of the PV plants underperforming by 10%? What can be done about that? It is increasingly demanded by the project developers, EPCs, asset owners, and component buyers to have a standardization for PV module QA/QC to ensure the project bankability.

The best practices for superior bankability are:

  • Assessment of Suppliers/Products
  • Qualification of Suppliers/Products
  • Control and Issuance of a Certificate of Conformity

Supplier assessment assesses the risk level and gives a score. It is a quantitative process, not a Pass/Fail exercise. The audit scores are most actionable if the audits are performed before contractual engagement with a manufacturer. Thorough supply chain audit is a very common request today.

For the “Control” phase during manufacturing, the recommendations are:

  • Use only accredited inspection bodies
  • Use a widely-accepted QA/QC “Standard” for criteria and requirements
  • Be present in factory 24/7

The most-widely used QA/QC standard today is STS-STD-PVM1:2018©. It has been reviewed now by more than 100 stakeholders and includes hundreds of criteria and requirements. When you apply this Standard, you receive a certificate of conformity, which can be used to reconcile the different needs of the different stakeholders.

STS’ database, containing more than 50 million datapoints, shows that night-shift brings twice as many findings as day-shift.