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AI at the Grid

There has been much talk about the rise of AI (artificial intelligence) in all walks of life—but the applications are what is truly exciting for many. Today, let’s consider one example for grid infrastructure inspections and monitoring.

Buzz Solutions is an AI company that inspects and protects critical energy infrastructure. The company allows field teams to focus on performing maintenance in a timely manner, which will ultimately reduce the likelihood of wildfires, forced shutdowns, and power outages that result from failed grid infrastructure.

The company was founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs Kaitlyn Albertoli and Vikhyat Chaudhry, two Stanford graduates that connected over a shared passion for environmental sustainability and technology innovation. The company recently raised a round of growth funding, which follows a period of acceleration in customer adoptions.

Buzz works with several large utilities across North America, including the New York Power Authority and Southern California Edison, just to name a few.

This comes at an interesting time for businesses in this area of the market, as the global unmanned aerial vehicle market—aka drones—is predicted to reach $101.1 billion by 2032. The challenge here is drones can capture a near infinite amount of information.

This is where artificial intelligence enters the conversation, analyzing and harvesting actionable insights from thousands of images taken across hundreds of miles of infrastructure. The intelligence can sort through the information and find what is truly necessary.

Buzz enables field teams to identify anomalies and prioritize maintenance to reduce the likelihood of grid-sparked wildfires, forced shutdowns, and power outages. At substations, utilities deploy PowerGUARD, Buzz’s AI solution for fixed camera systems providing 24/7 surveillance, equipment monitoring, condition assessments, and fire or smoke-related alerts—all in realtime.

Buzz also enables utilities to monitor substation infrastructure for security, safety, and high-energy events—something we all know is of the utmost importance these days amid cyber-attacks against our nation’s infrastructure.

Of course, this is only one example, but the point is AI offers very unique opportunities to tap into data in new and different ways in order to solve some of the challenges faced in businesses today. The ultimate goals would be to improve efficiency, safety, and the bottomline. How will your company leverage AI in the future?

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