Startup challenge: Anti-collision elements on overhead distribution lines

We seek to avoid bird collisions on our lines

Two projects have been selected as winners of the Start-up Challenge launched by Iberdrola —through its International Start-up Programme - PERSEO— in which innovative solutions were sought to avoid bird collisions on its overhead distribution lines.

The winners will sign a partnership agreement and will be able to test their project.

Iberdrola -through its International Programme for startups - PERSEO- has selected two innovative solutions for the placement of anti-collision elements in its overhead distribution lines: the company Drone by Drone and Highline Division (HLD). Both base their solutions on the use of drones for the installation of anti-collision devices for the protection of birdlife in overhead distribution networks. The aim is to improve the safety and efficiency of this type of operations and the continuity of the supply service..

Iberdrola has over 1.1 million kilometres of electricity transmission and distribution lines throughout the United States, Brazil, the UK and Spain. These power lines extend over different geographical areas and interact directly with the birds in the different ecosystems.

To minimise the impact of its power lines, so-called anti-collision devices are installed, which make the overhead cables visible to prevent the birds from colliding and/or being electrocuted.

Bird protection requirements are becoming more and more stringent, leading to an increase in the number of operations for to install anti-collision devices. The installation of these devices must be safe, effective and allow continuity of service.

The challenge is launched within the framework of the new smart grids innovation hub, the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub, and Eureka.

Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub

The framework of Iberdrola's new smart grid innovation centre, the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub, which is designed to be a global benchmark in smart networks, through open collaboration and coworking among i-DE suppliers, startups and different organisations worldwide.

The hub will act as a driving force for innovation, combining the company's technological capacity with that of its collaborators: suppliers, universities, technology centres and startups. It will also be used to attract strategic suppliers and international talent, thus strengthening the business ecosystem.

Iberdrola has already identified and is working on more than 120 projects worth 110 million euros and has reached agreements with 30 technology partners on developing grid digitalisation solutions, renewables integration, electric vehicle deployment and energy storage systems. The lines of work, which are international in scope, will enable the development and deployment of innovative solutions for the activity of Iberdrola Networks throughout the world.


Eureka is the world's largest public network for international cooperation in R&D and innovation and is present in more than 45 countries.

The collaboration between Iberdrola and Eureka involves the activities specifically aimed at building and strengthening partnerships between corporations and startups from different sectors.

The prize

The prize consist of a collaboration and test agreement with PERSEO or any other group company, which will support the cost of those activities and provide the winner with all necessary technical support, as well as a site and real data to test the solution, giving access to equipment, teams, infrastructure, high technology sites and shared work areas. The project will be developed in collaboration with the technical specialists from the Iberdrola Network area.

In addition, it will be included directly in the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hubs registration process as a collaborator able to benefit from the services, activities and resources that the GSGI Hub makes available.

If the assay or test of the concept is satisfactory, Iberdrola may offer the winner the opportunity to scale up the solution adapting it by means of commercial agreements.

What's more, PERSEO will consider investing in the participating company and/or the winner of the challenge.

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