US engineering, procurement, and construction contractor SOLV Energy has invested in autonomous robotics company Swap Robotics.
As part of a joint agreement, the companies will collaborate on new robotics use cases on utility-scale solar PV sites across the US and accelerate the development of new technology.
PV Tech sought clarification from SOLV Energy regarding the amount of the investment but the company did not disclose additional details.
Swap Robotics technology provides 100% electric vegetation management services designed for solar PV facilities within the utility-scale market.
Before the robots map out the area, Swap employees pre-map each site in order for the robots – designed to work through variable terrain and cut through thick grass and woody vegetation – to run autonomously with remote oversight.
The autonomous technology helps reduce maintenance costs while increasing performance, according to SOLV.
“The solar industry is gearing up for huge investment resulting from the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Driving the development of innovative technology is essential to optimising our capabilities and preparing our workforce for the influx of new projects in a growing number of states,” said George Hershman, CEO of SOLV Energy.
As an operations and maintenance provider, SOLV Energy – which was acquired by private equity firm American Securities in September 2021 – has more than 10GW of solar PV under management in 26 US states.