Dominion Power deploys drones to inspect power lines

13News Now Arrianee LeBeau

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- Virginia Dominion Power has deployed drones to help inspect electric transmission lines. For the past year, Dominion Virginia Power has been working with Virginian Beach-based HAZON Solutions, conducting demonstrations of the drones. Duke Dietz of HAZON Solutions, the company that operates the drones, said the drones prevent unnecessary climbs.

“We try and prevent falls and trips and falls are common. Once your feet leave the earth and you start climbing structures it could be slow. You may not have the right tools, you may not have the right parts, so with the drone imagery and again the precision infrastructure inspections that HAZON provides you'll know what you need when you get to the scene,” said Dietz.

Steven Eisenrauch is the Manager of Electric Transmission and Line Services for Dominion Virginia Power. Eisenrauch said the drones save them money, time and are safer.

“A drone can fly one of these structure in about five minutes climbing the structure will take considerable more time,” said Eisenrauch.

Eisenrauch also said drones give Dominion crews access to areas that they normally wouldn’t have access too.

“The biggest obstacle we come to is accessing the structure and in this area swamps can be an issue of course. The other big issue we have are airports. We need to be a little bit away from airports when we have to operate and with all the military bases that can be a challenge for us,” said Eisenrauch.

In the past year of Dominion has flown drones 144 miles, inspected 1,205 structures and identified 483 potential issues.


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