POWER Engineers has partnered with Buzz Solutions, a Palo Alto-based startup focused on helping utilities spot and fix power line problems before faults can spark wildfires.
Buzz Solutions offers Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven image recognition that allows utilities to inspect equipment, flag anomalies, and determine which repairs to prioritize. Previously, utilities have used field crews and helicopters to inspect equipment manually, which is both more time-consuming and less accurate than AI-based solutions.
Utilities across North America, but particularly in natural disaster-prone California, face daunting requirements to inspect and update equipment across their aging assets without causing customer rates to skyrocket. Because AI solutions are more cost-effective, Buzz Solutions hopes its technology will allow utilities to reduce operations and maintenance spending and re-allocate those funds to much-needed transmission and distribution replacements and improvements.
"Our relationship with POWER will allow utilities to tremendously speed up and improve the accuracy and efficiency of their inspections and reviews, ultimately making the grid safer for everyone," said Vikhyat Chaudhry, co-founder and COO/CTO, Buzz Solutions.
"This partnership allows us to accelerate the remarkable progress Buzz Solutions has already achieved," said POWER President and CEO Jim Haynes. "Critically, this technology can improve our customers' reliability and cost profiles at a time when there are so many competing demands on a utility's balance sheet."
POWER's team will partner with Buzz Solutions to demonstrate and refine the impact and value of the technology. Buzz Solutions has already begun deployments across North America, including performing transmission and distribution inspections for Newfoundland Power and the New York Power Authority.