RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Our report uncovers the challenges solar generators face and what they need to do to drive utility-scale solar to the next stage.
  • The fragmented value chain and extent of development make utility-scale solar an ideal candidate for digital transformation.
  • We identified six key themes critical to the future success for generators that want to grow their solar portfolios.
  • Those investing in digital are better positioned to capture the related opportunities, creating new value and performance.


Solar is currently the fastest-growing generation technology in the world, with a continuously decreasing levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). It is an incredibly competitive market with low barriers to entry and many different players that enter and exit projects at various stages of development. This has led to a variety of operating models and significant differences in investment practices.

The most significant challenge for solar generators is managing the end-to-end development process to meet the target cost, timeline and LCOE, given the different transitions and parties involved in the process.

We uncovered approaches to address the challenges solar generators face and what they need to do to drive greater performance and value in solar development going forward with digital as a key enabler.

Six key themes to light a path forward

To better understand the current project development approaches, challenges and opportunities for further improvement, our report builds on primary and secondary research, including insights from leading solar developers and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies.

From this analysis, we identified six key themes and related opportunities critical to the future success of generators who want to grow their solar portfolios.

Theme 1

An end-to-end approach, powered by digital, is required.

Theme 2

Front-end data and analytics are key to optimize LCOE.

Theme 3

Collaboration on the cloud is paramount to manage partners.

Theme 4

Invest in digital construction including robotics, supply chain and digital worker.

Theme 5

Enhance cybersecurity resilience while increasing readiness for regulatory compliance.

Theme 6

Assess operations and maintenance impact on design and LCOE.

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Those generators that invest in digital are better positioned to address the themes and capture the related opportunities. We have defined eight key digital capabilities to help solar players exploit the six themes: opportunity and portfolio management; LCOE optimization; engineering and contract management; supply chain management; execution of field-level activities; cybersecurity; health, safety and environment (HSE) and end-to-end portfolio/project control.

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