As wind power gains traction in the United States, SkySpecs is using drones and AI to spot future equipment failures before they shut down those giant turbine blades.
The company, which works with wind farms to monitor the health of turbine blades from above, has locked in a new $80 million Series D round led by Goldman Sachs to expand its ‘geographic footprint’ and software tools .
SkySpecs builds its hardware and software in-house and already claims to monitor the health of nearly half of all turbine blades in North America (for reference, there are 71,666 turbines in the US alone). Since its launch in 2012, the company says its drones have inspected more than 300,000 blades in dozens of countries. SkySpecs’ broader goal is “to help displace fossil fuel production” by making renewable energy more efficient, according to a company statement.
SkySpecs is one of many drone companies to focus on critical infrastructure monitoring. Others include Nearthlab, which also specializes in wind farm monitoring, as well as generalist companies like skyqraft, perception and FPV robotics.
Besides Goldman, new round investors include energy company NextEra, Düsseldorf-based VC Statkraft Ventures and Postmates backer Huron River Ventures. Although Goldman aims to funnel up to $150 billion into climate technology, the financial giant also continues to back fossil fuel expansion.