Drone Inspections of Electric Lines
Eversource is taking to the sky and using drones to inspect our infrastructure and help improve reliability, reduce environmental impacts and keep costs down.
This high-tech solution provides a critical, bird’s-eye view so we can identify any potential issues and continue to make sure that you have energy for every moment of your life.
Using drones has many benefits.
- They reduce the need for helicopter inspections and foot patrols. This means lower emissions and lower costs.
- Important information is shared in real time, even on equipment that can be up to 200 feet above ground.
- They provide a higher-quality inspection, which can help Eversource catch potential problems before they can affect safety and reliability.
- Provide access to lines and equipment in remote areas with steep or very wet terrain.
During an emergency, Eversource can quickly launch a camera-equipped drone to provide timely and accurate power line damage assessments.
The drone can send important data to restoration planners.
Armed with that detailed information, system operators can more accurately dispatch repair crews and communicate more precise restoration information to customers.
For questions about drone use on high-voltage lines in power line corridors, call 800-793-2202 or email us at TransmissionInfo@eversource.com.
If you have questions about drone use on power lines leading to your home, you can call us at 800-286-2000 in Connecticut; 800-592-2000 in Eastern Massachusetts; 877-659-6326 in Western Massachusetts or 800-662-7764 in New Hampshire.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you guarantee my privacy while you are flying a drone on or near my private property?
The people assigned to complete aerial utility inspections are certified professionals who are focused on putting the public first.
Their only interest is within the right of way and making sure Eversource equipment is in the best condition to deliver safe, secure, reliable energy.
These two-person crews are in the right of way for two reasons: one person operates the drone, and the other keeps the drone operator informed of any special conditions or hazards during the inspections.
Does Eversource have permission to use drones?
Yes. Eversource contracts with licensed drone operators who are specially trained by the Federal Aviation Administration to perform inspection work.
As always, Eversource ensures that contractors abide by all federal, state and local requirements. They also always carry proper identification.
How often do you expect to be using drone technology?
Throughout the Eversource service territory, we operate and maintain thousands of miles of electric lines, thousands of structures, and related equipment so we can provide safe and reliable service.
We are required to regularly inspect our equipment and a drone provides a practical solution to meet this need. This work happens throughout the year.
What types of work will require the use of drones?
Eversource uses drones to obtain images of equipment, particularly the equipment that is difficult to reach. These inspections supplement inspections by vehicle, helicopter, airplane and foot patrols.
Drones can also be used to assess storm damage, sometimes more quickly and cost-effectively than helicopters or in-person inspections.
Can I refuse the use of a drone on my private property?
Eversource has an obligation to perform the work required to keep the electric delivery system safe and reliable. In areas where our rights of way cross private property, Eversource holds easements to support electric system operation and maintenance. This sometimes means using drones on rights of way that may be on or adjacent to your property.
Does this mean you will no longer need to use helicopters or airplanes?
There are some types of surveys and inspections that are best performed through helicopters or smaller airplanes. For example, the infrared surveys we conduct to inspect our lines to prepare for summer weather require an airplane or helicopter.
Additionally, we will continue to use helicopters to help install certain equipment like wire or new structures.
How will I know that you will be using drones in my neighborhood?
Except for emergencies, Eversource plans to use a variety of notification methods, which may include a letter, door hanger, local media, social media and Eversource.com.