The future is officially here.
Energex has today announced that they will be using drones to help crews restore power faster after a natural disaster.
The company said the unmanned aerial systems are a “portable” and “cost-effective tool” for inspecting Queensland’s electricity network and carrying out repairs.
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“Drones allow us to rapidly investigate parts of the network that are typically difficult to access in vehicles or on foot and the high-resolution images give us a better grasp of what damage has occurred and what equipment will be required to make repairs, saving a lot of time,” Energex’s Chief Remote Pilot John Mordacz said.
Energex and Ergon Energy are currently training up to 80 staff to become certified drone pilots so that the aircraft can be used to respond to disasters around the state.
“Given our pilots will be using drones close to the electricity network, teaching them to do that safely is our top priority,” Mr Mordacz said.
Energex admitted that while drones are “no substitute for staff on the ground”, they’re a great addition to their tools of trade that can make the job safer and help restore power faster.
“In the past when we needed to string a new powerline from one side of a river to another, or over inaccessible terrain, we often had to call in a helicopter to carry out the task,” Mr Mordacz said.
“We can now use our own drones to do the same job with fewer risks, at significantly less cost and more efficiently.”