Xcel Energy Extends Wildfire and Utility Infrastructure Protection Efforts in Colorado with Pano AI to Better Safeguard Communities

Arvada, Nov. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Xcel Energy and Pano AI, the leader in early wildfire detection, have unveiled a major expansion of their collaboration to further fortify Xcel Energy’s utility infrastructure and operations while advancing the protection of local communities against rising wildfire threats.

Following a successful pilot, this expansion will bring Pano AI’s solution, Pano Rapid Detect, to more than 1.5M acres in Colorado - through the installation of 21 camera systems across the state by the end of 2023. These strategically placed cameras will not only enhance the resilience of utility operations and grid infrastructure for Xcel Energy but will also offer greater visibility for first responders in hard-to-monitor terrain; providing critical early and real-time situational awareness when a wildfire ignites.

Pano Rapid Detect integrates data from state-of-the-art cameras, geostationary satellites; and other data feeds; 5G connectivity; artificial intelligence; and cloud-based software to actively monitor for smoke emanating from new wildfire ignitions. As soon as an incident is detected, a notification is sent to Xcel Energy and first responders, providing detailed visuals and intelligence, such as location triangulation. As a result, fire agencies are equipped with greater insight to support a coordinated and rapid response to wildfire threats, enabling improved resilience of utility operations and grid infrastructure and better safeguarded communities from wildfire threats. The extension of this collaboration will see Pano AI’s solution, Pano Rapid Detect, actively scan more regions in Colorado for wildfire threats.

"As we navigate an environment challenged by increased wildfire risks, this extended collaboration with Pano AI holds significant importance in advancing the situational awareness of our operations and supporting our first responders.” shares Robert Kenney, president of Xcel Energy - Colorado

Each station continuously scans the surrounding area, conducting a full 360-degree sweep every minute. From their strategically placed vantage points, these cameras can detect fires well beyond the city limits alerting fire agencies immediately with critical intelligence, facilitating a rapid coordinated response to new ignitions while they are still small. 

"Every minute matters when it comes to detecting and responding to a wildfire,” notes Steven Parker, the Fire Marshal of Arvada Fire. “Early detection not only significantly enhances the rate of fire suppression, but also plays a pivotal role in dramatically reducing suppression costs and promoting the safety of our team of skilled firefighters. The extension of wildfire protection efforts in Colorado with Pano AI and Xcel Energy means deploying cutting-edge technology to detect fires swiftly, affording us the critical time needed to respond effectively."

The addition of 21 new stations serves as a testament to Xcel Energy's proactive commitment to enhancing grid resilience in the face of a changing climate.

In addition to Xcel Energy, Pano AI has partnerships with several utility providers across the country, including Portland General Electric, Austin Energy, and Holy Cross Energy. These collaborations aim to assist these organizations in detecting and mitigating potential incidents and to provide accurate location information to local fire agencies, facilitating swift containment measures before possible escalation.

"Each wildfire season, we face the intensifying effects of a drier, hotter climate and the increasing risk of wildfires,” shares Arvind Satyam, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Pano AI.We are proud to join forces with forward-thinking utilities like Xcel Energy that are enhancing wildfire situation awareness efforts and community safety to drive greater grid resilience.” 

Pano AI is deployed with governments, fire authorities, utilities, ski resorts, and private landowners. Pano AI now operates in seven U.S. states (Texas, California, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana), four states in Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia), and has recently announced its upcoming expansion into British Columbia, Canada.

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About Pano AI
Pano AI is a leader in early wildfire detection, providing the first fully-integrated solution for active wildfire detection using artificial intelligence to help fire authorities identify and extinguish new ignitions before they become a threat. Harnessing the latest developments in hardware, artificial intelligence, and cloud-based software, Pano AI provides fire agencies with real-time actionable intelligence and situational awareness to coordinate an informed rapid response to wildfires before they escalate, safeguarding lives, communities, and the environment.

About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, and Facebook.   

About Arvada Fire 
Arvada Fire is a special governmental district and all-hazards fire department that maintains nine fire stations throughout approximately 43 square miles in the City of Arvada, the northern portion of the City of Wheat Ridge and portions of unincorporated Jefferson County. Arvada Fire’s 218 employees serve approximately 133,000 citizens. Arvada Fire is internationally accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) and has been awarded a Class 1 Public Protection Classification (PPC) from the Insurance Services Office (ISO).


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