By 2017, there will be more than 150 gigawatts ofsolarplants that need to be maintained globally. In order for solar to keep growing as an asset class, those plants will have to be in top shape. Who’s going to take care of them all?

As operations and maintenance becomes a more important piece of the solar market, big project developers, independent contractors, software firms and inverter manufacturers are all trying to get in on the action.

In this week’s podcast, we talk with Chuck Smith, executive vice president of services at SMA America, about the company’s approach to monitoring, analyzing and optimizing solar plants. (Disclosure: SMA is a sponsor of the show.)

Later in the show, we talk about a new proposal in San Antonio to phase out net metering and create a program based on competitive bidding. We also discuss the legacy of Michael Peevey, the embattled outgoing president of the California Public Utilities Commission.

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The Energy Gang is produced by Greentechmedia.com. The show features weekly discussion between energy futurist Jigar Shah, energy policy expert Katherine Hamilton and Greentech Media Editor Stephen Lacey.