AES looking for drones and robotics solutions at power plants

The AES Corporation (AES) announced Nov. 17 the advancement of its efforts to lead transformation in the energy industry with an open innovation contest targeted at improving the safety and increasing availability of power plants through unmanned inspections in extreme heat.

To further its efforts to create a safer, smarter workplace, AES is launching an Open Innovation Contest in partnership with NineSigma, a company with extensive external resources and connections to accelerate innovation.

It is estimated that more than 20,000 MW of generation capacity is offline globally at all times due in part to outage-related inspections, reducing the ability of electric grids to absorb variable renewable sources like wind and solar. These outages represent $1B in lost power capacity, nearly the energy consumption in the state of Virginia every year.

AES is looking for innovative unmanned technologies to conduct inspection work that can resist extreme heat and keep our people safe while improving energy availability by getting plants back online more quickly. Responses and potential solutions are being requested from other companies, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs or inventors. Three winners will be recognized and rewarded at AES’ global Innovation Congress in July 2017 held at its Corporate Headquarters in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The company is accepting proposals through February 28, 2017.

For more information about the contest, please go to #beattheheat