Minister for Energy Bill Johnston released the following media statement today:
- Drones to be used to detect faults on Western Power's grid
- Technology will help reduce impact of vehicles on agriculturally sensitive land
- Western Power crews trained to Civil Aviation Safety Authority standards
Energy Minister Bill Johnston is pleased to announce Western Power has commenced its trial of drones to assist with visual inspections of faults around Northam and Geraldton.
The drones will increase response times to outages and detect faults, and are capable of withstanding electromagnetic interference, allowing safe navigation near powerlines.
Drone pilots will be able to switch between two different cameras, a high powered zoom lens and thermal heat sensing, to see potential faults that would not be visible to the naked eye.
As part of the three-month trial, four Western Power fault crew members completed Civil Aviation Safety Authority training to become Remote Pilots and undertook specific training on inspecting powerlines.
Using drones can help Western Power crews inspect assets in difficult-to-reach locations and address vehicle access issues in agricultural and environmentally sensitive locations.