One of the most dangerous and unpleasant effects of extreme weather is a loss of power across large areas. Florida Power & Light is accustomed to the problem – and they’re finding new ways to deal with it. The power company has received an FAA waiver to fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and to use the drones to quickly identify downed lines. It’s a great use for drone technology – and one that can have a positive impact on communities across Florida.
The following is a Percepto press release.
Florida Power & Light Company Uses Autonomous Drones to Speed Power Restoration
Last week, WPTV NewsChannel 5 reported how Florida Power & Light (FPL) is using the Percepto Drone-in-a-Box (DIB) daily at its next generation clean energy center in Martin County, as part of its Aerial Intelligent Response (AIR) program. The report highlights how Percepto’s Sparrow drones are online 24/7 and ready to fly at a moment’s notice. The Percepto Solution operates under an FAA waiver allowing for flight two miles beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). FAA has given FPL a waiver to fly the drones two miles beyond visual line of sight.
The drones were tested at Florida International University’s (FIU) wind tunnel at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour, to ensure they can help speed up restoration after a storm, by identifying what electrical poles are down and what crews and equipment is needed.
CEO of Percepto, Dor Abuahsira comments on the report: “We are proud that the Percepto DIB solution is being used by one of the biggest energy companies in the U.S, as well as other energy companies in the U.S and around the world. It is exciting to see how autonomous drones help in minimizing risks while increasing efficiencies ”
According to the reporter, Jon Shainman: “While the goal is to have a drone at every single substation, by the end of the year FPL plans to have two more on the Treasure Coast, one in St. Lucie, another in Vero Beach.”