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WATCH: IBM Says Partners Will Play A Big Role In Bringing Power Outage Prevention Tech To Market

The Weather Company Vegetation Management—Predict uses data collected by satellites, drones, aerial flights, sensors and weather models to help prevent power outages, an issue that impacted over 36 million Americans in 2017.

IBM is using AI to reduce power outages.

The Weather Company Vegetation Management—Predict uses data collected by satellites, drones, aerial flights, sensors and weather models to help companies monitor hundreds of miles of transmission and distribution lines.

That’s a big difference from current prevention methods, which largely rely on a manual process.

“Right now the biggest budget spend that an operational facility has is to spend money to make sure vegetation is cleared away from power lines,” said Robbie Berglund, IBM SaaS sales manager at The Weather Company, a subsidiary of the Watson & Cloud Platform business unit of IBM. “Utility companies either have to drive a truck, send a utility professional out on foot to inspect where the power outages are the worst, or fly expensive airplanes overhead. It’s really unscalable.”

One company is already seeing the results of the new solution. Oncor, the fifth largest utility company in the U.S., based in Texas, has been able to monitor vegetation growth across its entire service territory.

And that’s just the beginning.

Berglund saids the technology can also help with grid reliability, storm management and wildfire prevention.

“We will be looking to our partner channel to help us scale this out as we roll it out in the industry,” he said.

Watch CRNtv’s video for more coverage.

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