3 utility-scale project management areas with great potential for improvement


Successful implementation and delivery of utility-scale solar and battery storage projects requires the adoption of highly effective project management approaches. Implementation of project management methodologies, tools and techniques can optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of these large energy projects.


With design drawings based on the owner’s scope of work and the subcontractor’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm based on industry codes and standards, project teams now use a comprehensive “basis of design” document. This document serves as a thorough tracking mechanism that enables you to monitor design progress from 30% to 60%, 90% and the final (IFC) drawings issued for construction. This approach ensures accurate documentation of design parameters and facilitates seamless communication between stakeholders.

Implementation of the design document framework has resulted in enhanced coordination, improved transparency, and a significant reduction in design errors. By charting design evolution and facilitating effective communication, this approach minimizes the potential for rework and ensures strict adherence to project requirements and industry standards.

Contract Signing

Instead of signing a contract with an initial design or 30% drawings and negotiating change orders, project teams now maintain a comprehensive trend log and risk register.

The trend log acts as a tool to identify potential risks and effectively track changes throughout the project life cycle. Complementing the trend register, the risk register enables project teams to assess and mitigate risks associated with change, ensuring timely resolution and minimizing impact on project schedules and budgets. This approach has proven to be very effective in managing change orders, reducing disputes, and maintaining uninterrupted project momentum.


Instead of sourcing and selecting subcontractors individually for each project, project teams establish strategic partnerships with subcontractors across multiple projects.

By entering into Master Services Agreements (MSAs) with these subcontractors, project teams ensure consistent terms and conditions for all projects, streamlining the subcontracting process and significantly reducing administrative burden. Each subcontractor is responsible for specific scopes of work on projects, allowing for quick task orders instead of issuing separate subcontracts for each project. This approach has resulted in significant reductions in subcontracting time, increased productivity, and enhanced collaboration between project teams and subcontractors.

Implementing these innovative approaches during the engineering, contracting and subcontracting phases has already yielded significant benefits in utility solar and battery storage projects. These successful strategies have resulted in improved project coordination, proactive risk management, efficient change order processing, streamlined subcontracting processes, and strengthened relationships with subcontractors. The use of these methodologies, tools and techniques has consistently shown improved results in improving project management practices in the renewable energy sector. By embracing these methodologies, solar contractors and developers can achieve improved project outcomes, increased efficiency, and increased stakeholder satisfaction.

Sashaank Padmanaban is an EPC Project Manager with over 5 years of experience in solar and battery storage projects. With an MSc in Industrial Engineering, Sashaank has managed over 500 MW of utility scale PV, BESS projects and has been involved in 2000 MW of utility scale PV and BESS projects at various levels. His experience lies in the creation of safety programs, customer relationship management, quality control and overseeing the financial aspects of projects. Sashaank’s skills include process optimization, quality and financial control, and strategic planning. He holds OSHA 30, Lean Six Sigma and NDT certifications.

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