Asian Surveying & Mapping
Breaking News
Surya University of Indonesia Selected for Additional UNOOSA/JAXA KiboCUBE Opportunity
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)...
Sultanate Of Brunei To Host Indian Satellite Tracking And Telemetry Station
The Indian government cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra...
ISRO Launches Two British Earth Observation Satellites Onboard PSLV-C42
The Indian Space Research Organization today launched its heavy-weight...
Satellite Industry Showcases at South African Innovation Summit
The South African satellite industry had the opportunity to...
China Launches New Satellite to Forecast and Monitor Marine Disasters
China launched a new satellite on 7 September which...
China to Launch 7 More Beidou Navigation Satellites this Year in Push to Complete GPS Rival System
China aims to add another seven satellites to its...
Chinese Scientists Use Domestic Satellite to Conduct Light Pollution Research
Chinese scientists have conducted nighttime light pollution research using...
Arianespace’s Vega to Orbit THEOS-2 for Thailand’s GISTDA
Arianespace reports it will orbit THEOS-2, the very-high-resolution Earth...
India to Launch Two UK Satellites on Sunday
Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will put...
Microdrones Continues Global Growth with Australian Expansion
Townsville, Queensland - This month, Microdrones expanded its global...
  • Sep 13, 2018
  • Comments Off on Xcel Energy is the First U.S. Utility to Operate Drones beyond Line of Sight for Ongoing Inspections
  • Corporate, News
  • 47 Views

September 13th, 2018
Xcel Energy is the First U.S. Utility to Operate Drones beyond Line of Sight for Ongoing Inspections

DENVER – In one of the most significant advancements of unmanned aircraft under development by a U.S. utility, Xcel Energy is operating drones beyond visual line of sight during ongoing inspections of transmission lines near Denver.

“Today’s flight takes us a step closer to fully integrating unmanned aircraft into our operations,” said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO, Xcel Energy. “This innovative technology is revolutionizing our work by improving the safety, efficiency and cost effectiveness of maintaining and protecting the grid for our customers.”

Xcel Energy joins local, state and federal officials today in celebrating the milestone flights and watching the drone as it inspects electric power lines near Ft. St. Vrain Generating Station in Platteville, Colorado. Using advanced command-and-control technology, licensed pilots are remotely operating a small, 35-pound drone. Equipped with two cameras, the drone is collecting data on the condition of power lines and transmission towers with flights along a 50-mile route.

“Leading the development of unmanned aircraft builds on our longstanding commitment to safety for our workers, the public and the environment. This is especially important in Colorado where inspecting power lines in the mountains and remote locations is challenging work,” said David Eves, executive vice president, group president-utilities, Xcel Energy.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in an unprecedented decision for the utility industry, granted Xcel Energy special permission to conduct the beyond-visual-line-of-sight flights under a waiver, announced earlier this year. The waiver allows the company to commercially operate a drone without visual observers or a chase aircraft. The authority to fly a drone remotely greatly enhances the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of using the technology.

For several years, Xcel Energy has collaborated with the FAA and has contributed to the development of operational and safety requirements for unmanned aircraft operations in the utility industry. Last year, the company entered into a Partnership for Safety Program (PSP) with the FAA to operate drones for power line inspections within visual sight of operators.

When the transmission inspections are completed near the Denver area, Xcel Energy and its partners will work with the FAA to extend these operations in other states where the company provides electric service. The company surveys more than 320,000 miles of electricity and natural gas infrastructure to ensure the safety and reliability of its energy system.

Xcel Energy is currently working with several industry leaders including Harris Corporation, Northern Plains UAS Test Site, Phoenix Air UNMANNED, LLC and Altus Intelligence.

About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.