By: Tracy Warner—
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) will use aerial drones to inspect transmission lines in the East Central Indiana area beginning May 1st and continuing for about six weeks.
The drone inspection of wires and poles is occurring in portions of Adams, Delaware, Grant, Jay and Randolph counties. These inspections help I&M to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the area’s transmission system. The aerial drone will follow transmission lines for extended periods of time to capture high-resolution images of I&M equipment for structure and line condition assessments.
I&M has contracted with Asymmetric Technologies to manage these aerial inspections. A licensed operator pilots the drone, assisted by a camera operator/inspector on the ground. Inspection teams will follow FAA rules that requirie the pilot to maintain line of sight to the drone at all times. The inspection team will travel along the rights-of-way to access the transmission lines.
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its 2,450 employees serve more than 593,900 customers. More than half of its generation is emission-free, including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, 22 MW of hydro generation in both states and approximately 15 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 2,600 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.