Above, the solar industry’s leading aerial solar inspection and data analysis company, has secured expansion capital from multiple family offices to advance and develop its service offerings.
Above pioneered the use of its patented drone platforms fitted with sensing devices and dual imaging cameras to detect thermal and visual PV module anomalies across utility-scale solar plants. Above has again led with its disruptive SaaS platform, SolarGain, that unifies testing and inspection data to support and drive the digital transformation of the solar industry.
Founded in 2015 by Will Hitchcock, Above has inspected over 600 assets and is now supporting customers across four continents. It works with many of the world’s leading solar energy companies to deliver interactive asset health reports through its SaaS platform, SolarGain.
The company will use the funds to expand its Engineering and Sales teams and establish a presence to support a growing international customer base. It’s a boost for the SaaS Solargain platform to release new features with the rich functionality that so excites its customers. The launch of SolarGain Digital Twin in December has enabled SolarGain users to better understand their assets by providing the actionable insights needed to operate and maintain large solar portfolios.
Will Hitchcock, Founder and CEO, Above said
“At Above we have a vision to transform the way the solar industry manages and monitors assets. We believe that the use of innovative new and emerging technologies will transform the way we inspect and monitor solar assets, right down to a solar panel cell level. Through leveraging autonomous UAVs, AI and Computer Vision, we believe that our services can significantly increase the profitability of utility-scale solar. This funding will allow us to accelerate R&D, realise our geographic growth ambitions and ultimately bring our new services to the market faster.”
Jeremy Elden, Anglia Capital Group “I have been very impressed by the technology that has developed over the past few years and by the team that they have assembled. They are well placed to address one of the many real-world problems that the transition to a low carbon economy will throw up and to export their services globally. I am therefore delighted to be able to support their efforts both as an investor and as Chairman.”
The company has multiple research and development initiatives focused on drone technology, sensors, AI and computer vision to develop an AI-powered anomaly detection solution. As assets become more intelligent Above’s goal is to revolutionise how the industry use their inspection and testing data to carry out more timely and precise maintenance work.
Above is constantly innovating through collaborative research projects with leading UK Universities in the fields of computer vision and solar PV. The company currently has two Innovate UK funded projects with the University of Essex and Loughborough University in collaboration with the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST), the largest and leading UK sustainable energy research centre.
It is this relentless technological innovation that will drive the solar industry into embracing digitalisation through the adoption of new technologies such as cloud, mobile and edge sensors. Employing these new technologies will seamlessly link the physical asset with its digital twin creating an intelligently integrated ecosystem from Above.
The growth of Above comes at a time when renewable energy is expected to expand by 1,200 GW (gigawatt) in the next five years powered by a renaissance in solar energy. Above’s intelligent digital solutions will help the sector embrace digitalisation and innovative technologies to increase efficiency and automation across all stages of the solar asset’s life. As solar portfolios grow to meet the increasing world demand for low carbon energy, Above’s goal is to provide a solution that helps safeguard the health of solar assets in the UK and internationally.