Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (“EGPNA”), and Raptor Maps, Inc. (“Raptor Maps”) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the co-development of cutting-edge utility-scale solar asset management technologies that will optimize the field operations and maintenance of solar assets. The two companies will configure Raptor Maps’ existing machine-learning/artificial intelligence (AI) software solution, Raptor Solar™, which was developed for post-inspection analysis, and embed it directly into EGPNA’s drone hardware allowing real-time identification and classification solar facilities’ faults streamlining the detection to repair process from days to hours.
“The partnership with Raptor Maps on this innovative technology goes beyond demonstrations, and implements ground-breaking solution in a responsible and scalable way,” said Rafael Gonzalez, Head of Enel Green Power North America. “By combining the new software with the technologies already implemented in our plants, we have the potential to increase efficiency of our inspections, yield more accurate results and work towards developing a more automated inspection process across all of our solar sites.”
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) recognized EGPNA and Raptor Maps with a prestigious InnovateMass award earlier this year to accelerate commercialization of this innovative technology, partly funding the project.
“Raptor Solar™ is revolutionizing the solar industry by enabling owners and operators to capture the most advanced PV system analytics, maximize performance, and reduce operating costs,” said Nikhil Vadhavkar, Head of Raptor Maps. “EGPNA is leading the industry in the scalable implementation of drones to streamline operations, maintenance, and asset management. They are the perfect partner to push this technology to its full potential, and drive efficiency across the entire solar value chain.”
Through this solution the companies are aiming to solve the data post-processing bottleneck that is common in drone inspections across solar plants today reducing the time and labor costs associated with solar infrastructure inspection and creating a faster, more efficient process that cuts out the need to transmit large amounts of data over long distances. Once developed, the pilot program can be replicated across other renewable technologies, and by the end of this year, EGPNA is expected to train and equip thirty field workers with this technology, laying the foundation for intelligent asset management, preventive maintenance, and innovative machine learning/AI for assessing the condition of solar facilities.
EGPNA and Raptor Maps will kick off the project in August by implementing Raptor Solar™, across all of EGPNA’s solar assets. By combining state of the art drone and camera technology with Raptor Maps’ industry leading AI software, the team will be able to simultaneously capture both infrared (thermal) and high-resolution (color) imagery of solar assets, perform post-processing at the source of the data, and deliver real-time analytics to assess the condition of the plant. This information will be transmitted in real time to EGPNA’s Maintenance Management System that will create and deliver a work order with actionable items to be evaluated by the site technician, before the drone even lands, streamlining the process from days to hours.
EGPNA is scaling drone training and infrastructure to support the broad use of the technology across its development, engineering and operations groups, to better assess the suitability of new project locations, monitor construction progress and streamline operational maintenance activities.
About Enel Green Power North America
Enel Green Power North America, part of the Renewable Energies division of the Enel Group, is a leading owner and operator of renewable energy plants in North America with projects operating and under development in 24 US states and two Canadian provinces. EGPNA operates around 100 plants with a managed capacity exceeding 4.3 GW powered by renewable hydropower, wind, geothermal and solar energy.
Enel Green Power, the renewable energies division of the Enel Group, is dedicated to the development and operation of renewables across the world, with a presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Enel Green Power is a global leader in the green energy sector with a managed capacity of around 40 GW across a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower, and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable power plants.
About Raptor Maps
Raptor Maps is dedicated to building software for energy companies to automate labor intensive asset management with drones, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Raptor Maps is a global leader in the drone data analytics and reports software sector. Raptor Maps currently supports solar clients including Asset Owners, EPCs, Asset Management, Operations and Maintenance, and Service Providers across six continents.