EPC photovoltaic process – The Procurement phase


In this second blog dedicated to the phases that characterize the EPC photovoltaic process, after analyzing the first phase of engineering, we will describe the procurement one.

The procurement is necessarily linked to the supply of materials and services, thus the supply of all components that will become part of the previously designed photovoltaic system and the possible use of service providers (subcontractors and/or project workers).

With the globalization of markets and with the growing interest in renewable energy, a buyer will certainly find it difficult to look at the pros and cons of a supply of photovoltaic components and/or services that diversify more and more year after year, as well as necessarily having the technical and linguistic knowledge that will enable him to choose the most suitable and safe components as well as performers for the photovoltaic project he will build.

Also at this stage it becomes crucial to have as a partner a photovoltaic company capable of managing and solving this complexity within the shortest possible time and offering the customer top quality components at the most competitive prices, accompanying it step by step towards the last phase of the EPC process, that of the construction of the photovoltaic system.

The key to the procurement phase are: quality (of product/service), reliability (of the supplier) and costs (always looking for the best ratio between efficiency/quality/price).

The procurement flow is divided in two different cases: purchasing of pv components and services. In this process several departments are involved.

Procurement for PV Components

Purchase Requisitions – The starting point is the pv components needs, listed in a technical document (the Purchase Requisition – PR) drawn up by the Project Manager (PM) and used to formalize the various requirements of the solar project.

Quotations – AII the PR approved are managed by the Procurement Office that must find the best purchasing condition for the pv components respecting the main technical business constrains. The Procurement Office is responsible for vendor management activities: selection of the suppliers, request for quotation (RFQ) and management of the tender activities.

Outline agreements/Contracts – When the Procurement Office finds a particular favourable condition of concluding a long-term accord with a supplier, this agreement is formalized through a Contract or a Purchase Order (PO). This Contract/PO must be approved according with the Power of Attorney (POA) and then will be sent to the vendor.

Logistics lnvoice Verification – Once received the material by the vendor, the logistics operator posts the Goods Receipt (GR) in the system. The Controlling Department then perform the invoice verification activities by controlling the GR data with those present in the vendor invoice.

Inspection and Expediting – During the production phase in the supplier factory, our inspectors assist to the complete process, starting from the purchase of the raw materials, through all the manufacturing phases, until the packaging and shipment of the goods.


Procurement for Solar Services

The procedure for purchasing services is the same as that for components up to the sending of the PO to the vendor.
The services will be performed by the vendor and the requestor needs to check that the activities are correctly performed according with Milestones of the Contract that are accurately defined before to proceed with the contract signature, and will post the GR in the system.
The controlling office then perform the invoice verification activities by controlling the GR data with those present in the vendor invoice.

Inspection and Expediting – During the realization of the solar project, the sub-contractors are controlled by our operators to assure the respect of the Milestones.

Next week we will analyze the construction phase of the photovoltaic EPC process.

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