Maintaining the critical infrastructure that powers hundreds of thousands of families and businesses across the District of Columbia and Maryland amid the COVID-19 pandemic is a major focus for Pepco. As state and local governments continue to issue guidance to limit unnecessary travel and/or shelter in place, our crews are continuing essential work and doing so in accordance with these directives and with the health and safety of our employees, communities and customers front-of-mind.
One of the many innovative ways we are continuing this work is through the use of drone technology – also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Pepco is using this critical time to further ensure safe and reliable service for our local hospitals and major medical facilities amid the pandemic and our crews are performing proactive inspections of the equipment that power’s these critical facilities using drone technology.
A team of our very own operators have been taking flight, using drones to capture video and photos of aerial equipment to help identify issues that could potentially result in an outage before one does occur.
“Drone technology allows us to be more proactive in identifying problems,” said Karan Patel, engineer for Pepco Holdings, who also coordinates a team of six drone operators across New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia. “The videos and photos we capture allows us to identify damaged lines, broken crossarms, cracked insulators, damaged lightning arrestors or other damaged equipment and prioritize those repairs so that our first responders can fight COVID-19 with the help of reliable energy service.”
If problems are found, quick repairs are made where needed. If something is identified that needs attention, but is not critical, a corrective maintenance plan is established, and work is scheduled to make repairs.
We know first responders are on the front lines and are we are doing our part to support these customers and our communities during this time. Our customers rely on safe and reliable energy service to power their lives, now more than ever, we are continuing to take the steps necessary to meet those expectations.