Exodigo's tech tapped for U.S. government power grid project

Exodigo’s underground mapping technology is getting more above-ground attention.

The company, which is based in Tel Aviv and San Francisco, and uses multiple geophysical sensors and AI technology to map sub-surface areas and discover underground objects without having to perform costly, disruptive digging, has earned a role in a U.S. government program aimed at modernizing the nation’s power grid.

The sub-surface maps of electric lines that Exodigo can provide will be a key part of the Grid Overhaul with Proactive, High-speed Undergrounding for Reliability, Resilience, and Security (GOPHURRS) program led by the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). 

The program pairs Exodigo in a partnership with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Rutgers University. Exodigo will work with participating utilities, including Avista Utilities, Portland General Electric, and WEC Energy Group, to support GOPHURRS' mission “to strengthen and modernize America's aging power grid through the development of cost-effective, high-speed, and safe undergrounding technologies,” an Exodigo press release stated.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the Exodigo press release said the company is gaining “funding” from the $34 million program, which was announced in mid-January.

Bret Simon, who leads U.S. utility and energy partnerships for Exodigo, elaborated slightly, telling Fierce Electronics, “We can disclose that Exodigo is part of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory project selected to receive $3.75M, but no further specifics.”

Simon added that the new project will help proote Exodigo and lead to more commercial opprtunities. "The modernization of the power grid and the move to underground power distribution lines is a massive undertaking, and Exodigo is ready to support any/all utilities in their efforts. We are working closely with our trusted utility partners such as Avista Utilities, Portland General Electric, and WEC Energy Group as part of this initial effort to determine the best way to expand our usage, and will add other partners ready to leverage our platform to create a more resilient and efficient energy infrastructure as more opportunities arise."

Frederick Day-Lewis, a Chief Geophysicist at PNNL, added, "Our team at PNNL sees great potential through this ARPA-E project to speed up undergrounding operations and support improvements to the reliability and resilience of the nation's electrical grid.”

Exodigo’s system was chosen for the federal project with the intention that it could help streamline the processing of geophysical survey data into digital twin and augmented reality, allowing for the identification of subsurface obstacles prior to the installation of underground distribution power lines, and in the process also driving cost savings and increasing project efficiency.

The announcement of Exodigo’s role in the GOPHURRS project comes just a few months after the company completed an accelerator program with Boston-based construction group Suffolk Technologies, a milestone viewed as bringing Exodigo closer to more commercial deployment. Exodigo over the last few years has raised $41 million in funding and completed many pilot projects that demonstrated the viability of its technology.