Image courtesy of Border States Electric
Ewweb 4097 Link Esmart Systems Connected Drone

Border States Electric Agreement Takes Utility Drones Nationwide

Nov. 10, 2017
Agreement with eSmart Systems applies artificial intelligence and drones to lower monitoring and maintenance costs for utilities.

Border States Electric, Fargo, ND, announced an agency agreement with drone-maker eSmart Systems under which Border States will provide eSmart Systems’ Thundercloud, Connected Drone and Connected Grid systems to customers in the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Both companies have been working on the technology for the utility and power generation industries for years.

Thundercloud is an end-to-end solution for infrastructure inspections, featuring the Connected Grid and Connected Drone software components, said a Border States press release. Connected Grid provides real-time monitoring of the grid allowing operators access to detect faults and plan maintenance while reducing investments and costs related to outages. The Connected Drone uses artificial intelligence to catalog infrastructure components and monitor their health. The results are used to view infrastructure status and provide a basis for maintenance tasks. This not only brings a significant safety component to the inspection of utility assets using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s), or drones, but allows for safe, efficient, reliable and intelligent grid operations.

Gerald “Poke” Buck, BSE’s senior vice president utility sales, said, “The Thundercloud, Connected Drone and Connected Grid solutions from eSmart Systems are just what our utility, gas and oil customers have been asking for. We are thrilled about our new relationship with eSmart Systems and the high-quality, end-to-end, complete solutions that we will be supplying to the utility and industrial markets."

Knut E. Gustavsen, eSmart Systems’ corporate vice president and president North America, said "The partnership with BSE is an important milestone for eSmart Systems and our continued growth in the U.S. market. We are very excited to work with an industry leader such as BSE to further advance the applications of drones, big data analytics and intelligent asset management through our Thundercloud solution, to help utilities and their customers across the U.S. to lower costs and experience a more reliable service."