Eversource Energy to Begin Implementing Drones in Infrastructure Inspections
NEC Member Eversource Energy recently announced their plans to begin using drones to conduct inspections of high-voltage infrastructure. Eversource is a Connecticut-based utilities company that provides electricity for over a million customers throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
The energy company intends to implement drones in 100% of its power line and electrical infrastructure maintenance. This high-tech solution has many benefits, some of which include minimizing the need for infrared helicopter inspections, cutting down on fossil fuel use, and obtaining a more frequent view of the electrical infrastructure to identify and prevent potential issues. Eversource has been experimenting with drone usage since 2016, but only decided recently to make piloting them routine. As the energy industry becomes increasingly aware of the affordability and practicality of inspection drones, it is likely Eversource will become just one company of many who are taking advantage of this technology.
Carol Burke, Eversource Energy’s manager of transmission line operations in New Hampshire stated, “At first, we really were just targeting specific lines that we knew might have some issues. It worked out great and in the last two years we ended up developing a more formal program. It’s a great way to do an inspection as with very clear, detailed videos and pictures you can see any type of defect, aging or rotting on a structure.”
The New England Council congratulates Eversource Energy on this exciting new venture and commends them on their ongoing efforts to incorporate new technology into the field.