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A first for solar firms: PV performance insurance

handshakePhotovoltaics firm Signet Solar has inked what might be a first in the renewables industry (PDF): a 25-year insurance plan that covers the performance warranty of Signet’s solar modules.

Implemented by insurance provider Munich Re, the plan is designed to protect against the risk of performance deterioration in Signet’s photovoltaics. Signet guarantees that its modules will perform to at least 90 per cent capacity in the first 10 years and to at least 80 per cent in the remaining 15 years.

By insuring that warranty, Signet claims it will help solar park operators using its modules to more easily finance their installations.

In preparing the ground for the insurance concept, Munich Re’s Special Enterprise Risks experts spent several months examining Signet’s quality standards and manufacturing processes.

“Measures to counter climate change — and in particular the specific expansion of new energy production technologies — also open up major business opportunities for insurers,” said Thomas Blunck, a member of Munich Re’s board of management. “Munich Re has devised special risk-transfer products especially for complex risks connected with renewable energies, including the performance guarantee cover for which we were able to win over Signet Solar as our first client.”

“The insurance policy designed specifically to meet the needs of the photovoltaic industry gives operators of solar parks a clear advantage with banks and credit institutions, especially in these turbulent times,” said Jochen Körner, an executive board member of insurance broker Marsh, which was involved in developing and marketing the insurance product.

“For our clients, this insurance solution is a major stepping-stone in financing photovoltaic projects,” said Gunter Ziegenbalg, manager director of Signet Solar GmbH. “It ultimately gives operators of solar parks additional economic security in the event of an unforeseen loss in performance of the modules.”

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