US aerial imaging firm acquires solar data analytics provider AirProbe

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DroneBase now has more than 59GW of solar and wind assets under inspection. Image: Image: Oriano Solar.

Aerial imaging company DroneBase has acquired India-based AirProbe, a provider of artificial intelligence-enabled analytics of solar inspection data.

The deal sees California-headquartered DroneBase add 22GW of solar energy systems under inspection, taking the firm’s total to more than 59GW of both wind and solar assets under inspection.

DroneBase said that AirProbe’s artificial intelligence significantly reduces the amount of time needed to analyse aerial inspection data of solar projects, enabling asset owners, operators and financiers to quickly fix defects and anomolies.

“As both the number and size of solar energy systems deployed grow exponentially, inspecting and maintaining millions of systems will become more critical and more complex,” said Dan Burton, CEO of DroneBase.

The acquisition is set to expand DroneBase’s footprint in Europe and Asia Pacific (APAC), with AirProbe founder Aditya Bhat based in India to oversee operations in the APAC market.

Bhat said his company’s aim has been to increase the reliability and efficiency of solar plants through AI-enabled software, adding: “That aligns perfectly with DroneBase’s mission to continually deliver the best, actionable intelligence so that solar energy system operators and financiers can deliver more clean energy and grow their bottom line.”

DroneBase closed a US$12.5 million Series C funding round in June before raising an additional US$20 million in October to help fund its global expansion.

The deal follows a spike in acquisitions in the solar software space in recent months as companies look to combine technologies and knowledge. This year has seen Enphase Energy acquire solar system design software provider Sofdesk, while DNV-owned PV monitoring firm GreenPowerMonitor bought Alteso’s solar analytics tech platform.

PV Tech Premium has explored how solar software providers are pooling resources to share best practices, enter new geographies and help accelerate PV project deployment as well as examining the increasing role artificial intelligence will play in maintaining the solar plants of the future.

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