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Delmarva Power sends up helicopters for system check

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For the rest of March and April, Delaware and Maryland residents may see helicopters flying over their electrical lines.

Delmarva Power is conducting aerial inspections of more than 2,000 miles of transmission lines across its service area.

The power company invests $27 million per year into preventative maintenance, including reviewing the system and addressing potential problems.

“Every day, our crews and personnel are in the field performing essential work to meet our customers’ energy needs,” said Gary Stockbridge, Delmarva Power region president. “By performing the aerial inspections with helicopters, we are enhancing reliability, safety and efficiency across our system.”

New approaches to visual inspections are in the works, however.

Delmarva Power recently started exploring ways to modernize inspections with Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), popularly known as drones. The company launched a test mission in North East, Md., in Spring 2017 and since used drones on several inspection missions throughout the region.

The company will continue to use drones on a trial basis, while helicopters will handle the bulk of aerial inspections.


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