Norway is planning a huge investment in offshore wind turbines – offshore wind – which will create new jobs and produce more renewable energy.
A major concern between researchersAnd the the authorities And the Environmentalists is that the condition of seabirds will only get worse. More than 60 percent of the Norwegian seabird species are on the Red List, According to the researchers.
The business community also considers the impact of wind turbines on seabirds to be a problem. The founders, Ask Helseth, Lorea Coronado-Garcia and Helge Reikerås heard this when they spoke to major players in the offshore wind industry.
With the issue of seabirds in mind, the trio set out to develop technology to track and monitor bird life near wind farms using artificial intelligence.
This week, nearly 1.5 years after founding the startup Spoor AI, Helseth and its partners are raising money from a handful of powerful players.
– We collected a large amount in my head. NOK 24 million is enough to sharply expand its business, Hilseth tells Netavizen.
whose? Founders Ask Helseth (CEO), Lorea Coronado-Garcia (COO) and Helge Reikerås (CTO) founded the company in December 2020, after meeting through the Entrepreneurship Program earlier in the same year.
What? Spoor AI has developed a system for monitoring and tracking birds in and around wind farms so that developers and operators can gain more knowledge and reduce damage as much as possible.
How? Using artificial intelligence, Spoor AI can use video to detect and track birds up to three kilometers away. The company’s software can, among other things, calculate a bird’s flight pattern, thus helping to stop potential collisions.
the future: Today, the company has ten employees, and Senior Manager Hillseth announces a quick hiring of employees. The company will build several pilot projects with Ørsted and several other companies.
Get help from the world’s largest offshore wind energy company
On Wednesday, news revealed that Danish Ørsted, the world’s largest offshore wind company with a market value of approximately NOK 330 billion, is investing in Spoor AI.
The same is true for state investment firm Nysnø, Gustav Magnar Witzøe and Øystein Robert Skiri owned by Wiski Capital, Norwegian Antler and Sweden’s Norrsken Foundation.
Acquiring Ørsted on the ownership side also means a partnership, which will make the development of Spoor’s technology go faster than previously thought. Through training from Ørsted’s offshore wind parks, technology will be trained to identify, track and monitor bird species at record speed.
There is a great need for more data on how birds are affected by offshore wind structures. Ørsted is the world’s largest offshore wind energy company and a leading technology developer. It wouldn’t be much bigger than that, says founder Hillseth, and it’s ideal to have them on the owner’s side.
In the beginning, when technology and product were in the start-up stage, entrepreneurs would knock on doors after doors in the hope of collaboration and investments with established players. But a start-up company only has one idea and a PowerPoint presentation to refer to, and they usually get a “no.”
But after the founders proved the technology was working at Karmøy’s Metcentre test lab, rumors swirled around Spoor’s technology, and companies started contacting Hellseth about collaboration possibilities.
It was a turning point for us, says Hellseth.
Rumors reached giant Ørsted, who contacted the founders of Spoor about both investing and partnering to develop the technology in the future.
Read also: In the midst of an electricity crisis, Norway’s wind power hits a historic record
Want to know why birds fly near wind turbines
Ørsted writes In a press release They want to understand why and how birds fly near the company’s offshore wind parks. With a better understanding of the birds’ behavior, Ørsted hopes to be able to adapt gardens.
usually developing Actors like Ørsted models to estimate the number of collisions between wind turbines and birds. However, these were significantly inaccurate, according to the offshore wind giant. According to him, the number of birds hitting wind turbines is much lower than expected Recent Studies.
Ørsted founder and Spur Hellseth would like to know more, so that more offshore wind farms can be built without worrying about species diversity.
– Bird life and offshore wind is something that engages people both inside and outside the offshore wind industry – Why does the offshore wind industry need the technology you are now commercializing?
I think there is general agreement that we need more data and an understanding of how offshore winds affect bird life. I think the industry, the regulatory authorities, and the people who are skeptical about offshore wind are interested in that. We want to contribute data and transparency, says Hillseth.
Nysnø Klimainvesteringer expects that 557 gigawatts of wind capacity will be installed globally over the next five years. This corresponds to about 70,000 new wind turbines. Spoor technology can be an important tool when companies are evaluating the impact of turbines on bird life, says Nysnøs Guro Skjæveland.
– Spoor is an attractive company that can signal rapid and impressive technological development, at the same time that the company has gained access to important players in the wind energy industry. Going forward, we expect the number of wind energy projects to grow globally, which will require in-depth knowledge of the environmental consequences, including for bird populations, says Skjæveland at message.
Read more: Sky high speeds in the oil industry can be a huge problem for the success of the Norwegian offshore wind
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