Accenture (ACN), Microsoft, Duke Team Up For Methane Sensing

Accenture plc (ACN Free Report) , Microsoft (MSFT Free Report) and Duke Energy (DUK Free Report) have collaborated with a view to build a technology platform capable of measuring actual baseline methane emissions from natural gas distribution systems.

The platform’s near-real-time data will help Duke Energy with quick detection and repair of methane leaks so that it can progress further toward its aim of attaining net-zero methane emissions in its natural gas business by 2030.

Accenture, in collaboration with Avanade, its joint venture with Microsoft, will apply analytics, artificial intelligence and cloud computing to design the Microsoft Azure-based platform that will monitor methane emissions using satellites, fixed-wing aircraft and ground-level sensing technology.

Mark Schuler, a managing director in Accenture’s utilities practice, stated, “Our work with Duke Energy and Microsoft demonstrates how technology, innovation and artificial intelligence can help address sustainability challenges.”

Notably, Accenture’s shares have gained 38.3% over the past year, outperforming the 30.4% growth of the Zacks S&P 500 composite while underperforming the 44.5% growth of the industry it belongs to.

Zacks Rank and Other Stocks to Consider

Accenture currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

Another similarly ranked stock in the broader Zacks Business Services sector is TransUnion (TRU Free Report) . The long-term expected earnings per share (three to five years) growth rate for TransUnion is pegged at 22%.

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