Pierce Atwood Congratulates Via Science on Joint Initiative with TEPCO

Initiative aimed at using AI to predict and prevent transmission line outages

Congratulations to Pierce Atwood client Via Science, Inc. on its recently signed joint initiative with Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO), the world’s fourth largest electric utility. The goal of their initiative is to use artificial intelligence to improve the prediction and prevention of electric outages.

Colin Gounden, CEO of Via Science, in an announcement regarding the joint initiative, stated, “Artificial intelligence solutions are being deployed with utilities at an unprecedented rate to support high-stakes decisions in risk assessment, predictive maintenance, and strategic planning, and our AI predictive maintenance initiative with TEPCO is a great example of this trend around the world. We see this opportunity to protect TEPCO’s critical infrastructure by predicting the failure of specific, often hard to maintain electricity transmission equipment, as a critical step toward the operation of a more reliable, efficient, and environmentally-sound grid.”

Until now, TEPCO has used neural network solutions, similar to those used by most utilities in the United States, to support its infrastructure maintenance programs. “The problem with using these types of solutions is that they fail to provide the ‘why’ behind predictions and recommendations,” said Andrew O. Kaplan, the Pierce Atwood attorney working with Via Science on its energy initiatives. Instead, Via Science uses explainable AI systems that identify vulnerable equipment and, uniquely, provide explanations about why a specific piece of equipment has been flagged, allowing TEPCO engineers to choose the optimal course of corrective actions. Kaplan added, “This type of transparency is essential for companies to provide to its regulators as it gives them the documentation required to ensure rate recovery.”

Pierce Atwood Energy Practice Group partner Andrew O. Kaplan assisted Via Science in securing this joint initiative.


About Via Science
Via Science creates software applications that identify and prioritize risks to critical infrastructure using a combination of artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, and causal analytics. Headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, Via Science has developed its risk assessment applications in conjunction with some of the world’s leading companies and government agencies in energy and security. The company has been featured in Wired, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes for its expertise in causal analytics software applications.

About Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is the largest utility in Japan serving millions of homes and businesses. Worldwide the company has more than 34 subsidiaries and 32 affiliates in 8 countries and employs approximately 42,060 people. Consolidated revenue for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, totaled 5.3 trillion Japanese yen. The company was established in 1951 and is listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

About Pierce Atwood
Pierce Atwood LLP, a leading regional law firm, has 150 attorneys who serve regional, national, and international clients from offices in Portland and Augusta, Maine; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Boston, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; Stockholm, Sweden; and Washington, DC.  Pierce Atwood provides exceptional legal and business counsel to its clients, who range from regional and local enterprises, utilities, financiers, middle-market companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals, to Fortune 500 companies, multinational corporations, and state and foreign governments. Follow us on Twitter @PierceAtwoodLLP.