Drones Support Clean, Safe, Reliable Energy
As part of our pioneering Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program, we use drones to help deliver on the promise of clean, safe and reliable energy.
Uses and benefits
These small unmanned aircraft give ground-based operators a bird’s eye view of power lines, vegetation, construction projects and wildfires – all without deploying work crews or heavy equipment. They can save time, reduce risk to workers, and avoid environmentally sensitive habitat. Plus, they’re battery-operated for zero emissions.
SDG&E is one of the first utilities in the nation granted approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to research, test and train flight crews on UAS. Since then, we’ve deployed drones to:
- Conduct aerial inspections of electric and gas facilities, including emergency response damage assessments.
- Pinpoint the causes of power outages.
- Access infrastructure in remote areas that are difficult for ground crews or helicopters to reach.
- Help string cable in a rugged area.
- Check vegetation management and construction work done by third parties.
- Monitor wildfires.
News and video archives
Learn more about the history and progress of SDG&E’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program in the following news releases and video.
- Drone Helps String Cable, Saving Hours of Work (May 30, 2018)
- Eyes in the Sky Working to Ensure Public Safety (Jan. 16, 2018)
- Changing the Way We Do Business Using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Jan. 14, 2017)
- SDG&E Testing Unmanned Aircraft Systems in San Diego County (March 27, 2015, video)