Eversource to use drones to monitor infrastructure


From The New England Council (newenglandcouncil.com)

“Eversource Energy recently announced its plans to begin using drones to conduct inspections of high-voltage infrastructure. Eversource is a Hartford- and Boston-based utilities company that provides electricity for over a million customers throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

The energy company intends to implement drones to monitor 100 percent 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, said, “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.”