Edgy Labs Media – The New York Power Authority (NYPA), the largest public power company in the U.S., and Ontario Power Generation, a Canadian utility company, have teamed up to test the potential of using drones for infrastructure inspection.
It has been more than three years since the first utility drone program (Sempra’s San Diego Gas & Electric) was authorized by the FAA and since then, utility companies across the country have begun to integrate drones in some capacity of their inspection, survey
and management operations.
With the ability to be remotely-controlled and to carry video cameras and sensors, drones can perform a variety of data collection tasks for utility companies. Drones can also access utility infrastructure located in remote, hard-to-reach, and dangerous areas. Tech companies, such as Cyberhawk Innovations, specializing in utility industry drone inspection and surveys, offers apps and technology programs that are already being used in 20 countries.
NYPA indicates that using drones for beyond visual line of sight inspections could save up to 50% on costs compared to conventional methods.