AI and satellite technology startup AiDash raises $50 million for technology to detect wildfire danger

AI and satellite technology startup AiDash raises $50 million for technology to detect wildfire danger

AiDash, a California firm that uses satellites and artificial intelligence (AI) to identify weather and fire hazards on power lines, announced on Tuesday that it had raised $50 million in fresh funding. This news is indicative of Silicon Valley’s efforts to develop solutions that aid energy businesses in adapting to climate change.

After major fires were started by power lines and weather events brought down lines, power utilities are under pressure to reduce the dangers of forest fires and storm-based disruptions. Simultaneously, loads on the grid are anticipated to increase as fossil fuels are replaced by electricity in applications like residential heat pumps and electric automobiles.

According to data from researcher PitchBook, hundreds of startups and small businesses provide services and technology targeted at enhancing forest management, wildfire and forest-fire detection and response, and other related services.

Using artificial intelligence (AI), AiDash scans satellite photos for issues and modifications along power utility electric transmission lines, including areas where vegetation has grown and potential tree encroachment.

Additionally, businesses who must comply with new biodiversity reporting requirements, like those in the UK, are using technology to assist in the creation of surveys. A portion of the additional funds will go toward opening a headquarters in Europe.

After utilizing the system to determine maintenance priorities on its Massachusetts grid, National Grid (NG.L), opens new tab, an AiDash customer and investor that owns networks in the UK and the US, reported it has observed quantifiable benefits in reducing the frequency and length of outages.

As circumstances change, “we have to be more dynamic in allocating our resources,” stated Abhishek Singh, the CEO of AiDash, during an interview.

The investment round, led by Lightrock, including backing from SE Ventures (supported by Edison International (EIX.N), Schneider Electric (SCHN.PA), opens new tab, Shell Ventures, and National Grid’s National Grid Partners, among others.