As wind power gains ground in the US, SkySpecs is using drones and AI to detect future equipment failures before bringing those giant turbine blades to a halt.
The company, which partners with wind farms to monitor the health of turbine blades from above, has closed 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’ greater goal is to “help displace fossil fuel generation” by making renewables more efficient, according to a company statement.
SkySpecs is one of many drone companies to focus on monitoring critical infrastructure. Others are Nearthlab, which also specializes in wind farm monitoring, as well as generalist companies such as Skyqraft† Percepto and FPV robotics.
In addition to Goldman, investors in the new round include energy company NextEra, Düsseldorf-based VC Statkraft Ventures and Postmates financier Huron River Ventures. While Goldman aims to put as much as $150 billion into climate technology, the financial giant also continues to support the expansion of fossil fuels.