Dominion Virginia Power to launch drones to inspect transmission lines

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Dominion Virginia Power is taking to the skies with unmanned aircraft to check on transmission lines.

A Dominion manager tells the Daily Press the company has been working with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and drone companies in Hampton Roads ahead of the test flights next month.

The utility says drones 25 to 30 pounds and equipped with cameras could help the company locate potential problems and improve reliability of service. They also could be more cost-effective than using helicopters.

Moreover, drones could save linemen from having to climb the towers to find any areas that need repair or maintenance.

If testing goes well, Dominion would roll out a drone inspection program in two years.

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