Mark Culpepper, who heads up global solar for Drone Base, is on a mission to simplify the process and amplify the importance of solar site data gathering with aerial methods. As the name might imply, Drone Base has built an entire business around aerial thermographic inspection. They’re on a role, hot off a $20M round of investment and acquisition of India-based Airprobe to add a sophisticated A.I. engine to their platform of global data analysis. And Mark is the guy who’s bringing them into the Solar industry at-scale. 

While at SunEdison, Mark created the solar industry’s first global monitoring operations centers designed to track power, energy and revenue on solar power plants around the world. Now, he’s designing programs for both drones and manned aircraft to capture thermal imaging of solar energy systems and turn that into actionable data. He sees a big need ahead — solar at utility-scale, which means that monitoring and identifying systems defaults quickly is even more important. For a system that is thousands of acres with millions of panels, monitoring and fixing defaults has significant generation and revenue implications. 

Nico asked Mark a long-pondered question, especially since we’ve had several other aerial imaging companies on the show – which is best, especially for Utility-scale, the manned-aircraft or drone-based approach to information gathering? The answer might surprise you!  Along the way, Mark reflects on his conversations with asset managers and points out their greatest fears moving into 2022, a year when we expect unprecedented growth in solar globally. 

In today’s Tactical Tuesday, We’ll show you how to save money by keeping your operators focused on their highest & best use tasks. And, Mark outlines an approach that he’s honed over the last 6 years that provides a flexible, cost-effective, and accurate view of the performance of your solar assets. 

Mark offered to provide a free scan of their existing N. America database to see if your solar site is already on their flight path! Go to to check for yourself…

And, IF you’re headed to Long Beach for Intersolar North America, you can use that same link to schedule an appointment with Mark and check out their wares for yourself!

Hey, I’ll also be in Long Beach. If you’re planning to be there, find me and say Hi! You can DM me on Linkedin and let’s set up an in-person meeting!