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Atlantic City Electric Protecting Birds Using Drone Technology

Atlantic City Electric is using an innovative approach to help further protect birds across our service area. In partnership with Fulcrum Air, we are installing bird diverters using drone technology on various transmission lines as part of the company’s avian protection program. Through this pilot drone program, we have identified transmission lines to install new, upgraded bird diverters to help mitigate the potential for birds colliding into power lines. The team is also installing the diverters where the company is building new infrastructure and power lines to avoid risk in areas of bird foraging, nesting, and roosting habitat.

A drone and attached robot are used to install new bird diverters along Stone Harbor Boulevard in Cape May County, N.J.

Here’s how it works. A drone is used to place a small robot on the power line to install the new bird diverters that have both reflective and glow in the dark tape. This allows the upgraded diverters to be more effective in low light conditions such as dawn, dusk and overnight, when many birds are moving to feed, roost and migrate.

The drone and associated robot can install up to 12 bird diverters on each flight, 15 feet apart, and can install up to 400 diverters each day, weather permitting. This is a safe and efficient approach, especially in environmentally sensitive areas. To date, more than 1,500 new bird diverters have been installed in our service area using the drone technology.

While installing bird diverters is not a new concept, this new, efficient approach in installing upgraded bird diverters, will help further protect migratory and breeding birds across the company’s South Jersey service area, while also helping avoid service interruptions for customers.

You can check out how the drone and robot works here: