Making it Work

Rebot targets €1m in funding as it teams up with offshore wind providers

The AI-powered start-up has already partnered with Statkraft and Mainstream

Prasad Gade, founder of RenewableBot: ‘If I create the shortest path, the ships spend less time offshore which leads to fuel reduction and less CO2.’ Picture: John Allen

RenewableBot (Rebot), which has harnessed the power of artificial intelligence to improve the maintenance of offshore wind farms, is aiming to raise €1 million in funding to expand its operations globally.

Created by software engineer Prasad Gade, Rebot makes the servicing of offshore wind farms more accurate and cost-effective.

“We take all the information from those assets, run through our machine learning algorithms, and inform the owner of those assets if something's going to go wrong and if something has gone wrong tell them how they can actually use AI to optimise repairs,” Gade explained.

The nature of offshore wind assets means they require significant resources for reparations, which need to be deployed at the right time and take into account weather patterns.

Rebot promises to reduce overall expenses for companies by 5 per cent and drop the labour time by 20 to 30 per cent.

Fact File

Company: RenewableBot

Founder: Prasad Gade

Number of staff: 4 full-time, 2 part-time

Turnover: €21,000

“They are saving a huge amount of money and also tackling unwanted CO2 emissions that is being generated by vessels,” the founder said. “If I create the shortest path, the ships spend less time offshore which directly leads to fuel reduction and obviously less CO2.”

Through €100,000 in pre-seed funding from Enterprise Ireland and €30,000 from a private investor Gade has developed pilots that are being used by major providers such as Statkraft and Mainstream Renewable Power.

“They are using it alongside their existing tools to see how AI can actually help their planning new wind farms,” Gade explained.

The offshore wind industry is expected to become a $1 trillion (€0.9 trillion) industry by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency and reports from McKinsey estimate that 25 to 30 per cent of overall project costs will be spent on operations and maintenance.

While the founder sees a significant future market opportunity for the technology, his development in Ireland has been hindered.

“I’ve had so many leads for opportunities for offshore wind farms in Ireland but their projects have been delayed, which eventually affected me and created a roadblock,” Gade said.

Last year the Department of Environment first announced was switching to a plan-led system where the state would choose designated areas for offshore wind development instead of companies choosing locations for themselves.

The move caused consternation within the industry due to the sudden shift in policy. The first of the long-awaited Designated Maritime Area Plans (DMAPs) was published last week.

Given what he feared would amount to a stagnation in Ireland’s offshore market Gade pivoted into solar.

His technology is being used by All Solar Energies Ireland, which specialises in the installation of solar panels.

While solar does not fully utilise AI’s abilities given that operations and maintenance is more straightforward, it still has a role to play.

“The technology can predict how much energy is going to be generated in the future and so it can calculate if the operation will need to depend on the grid for the coming week or if they can generate enough energy from solar,” explained Gade.

Looking ahead there are hopes that Ireland will advance its development in off-shore wind, but the founder is also optimistic about expansion in the rest of Europe, which he hopes to achieve by 2025, with the US and Asia coming a year later in 2026.

“We are actively pursuing a strategic partnership with an Ireland based startup company who has years of experience in this industry so we can use their connections to get into the international market.”

This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland