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Drones used to inspect Southern California Edison equipment

Drones used to inspect Southern California Edison equipment

Helicopters and drones are used to inspect Southern California Edison equipment along the south coast. The company says that the aerial inspections will help to provide a more complete picture of the work that’s performed between Carpinteria and Goleta.

Drones used to inspect Southern California Edison equipment

Helicopters and drones are used by Southern California Edison to conduct aerial inspections of electrical equipment across Santa Barbara County’s South Coast.

Company spokesman David Song said that the drone inspections will continue “probably for another couple of weeks.” He also pointed out that drones in the air can get into all the nooks and crannies that helicopters can not.

About 75% of all the aerial inspection work is done by helicopters and only about a quarter is performed by drones, he added according to Noozhawk.

“There’s a lot of things you can see from that vantage point that you can’t from the ground,” Song said. “We do cover a lot with ground-based inspections, but we want to ensure we have a complete picture of all our equipment.”

As of last year, Southern California Edison started conducting aerial inspections for all electrical equipment in high fire-risk areas. In its surface area, the company is responsible for 1.4 million utility poles in its service area which spans 50,000 mi.² along coastal, central and Southern California.

“We are going to great lengths, rightfully so, to inspect our equipment,” Song said. “This is for the safety of the communities we serve. We don’t want our equipment to be the source of ignition for a wildfire. We feel conducting aerial inspections is a key part of that, so if we do find problems, we can remediate issues right away.”

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Photo: Southern California Edison

Haye Kesteloo

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