Enwin to use drones to inspect power lines
Windsor will be among the first cities in Ontario to use drones for infrastructure assessment and inspection.
After six months working with Transport Canada, Enwin received a standing Special Flight Operations Certificate to fly drones for use in infrastructure inspection and maintenance.
The utility can now begin to use the small flying machines routinely, to check transformers, powerlines and other infrastructure necessary to maintain the safety and reliability of the local distribution system.
Enwin’s manager of distribution Jim St. Louis and Lead Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Pilot, Jean Pepin will lead the Enwin UAV Team.
They will work within Transport Canada guidelines, under the conditions of Enwin’s SFOC, which authorizes flight over public property and easement areas, photographing and transmitting images of the equipment and infrastructure owned by the utility.
“Our certification will be invaluable to both the utility and the community,” said ENWIN CEO
and President, Helga Reidel. “The technology will allow us to get a good look, at close range,
at powerlines and transformers, often detecting a potential problem before it becomes a
If the power does go out, the utility can use the drones to locate and assess
the cause, without the time and expense of sending out a crew and a truck. This will also
improve response times, and help avoid potential emergency situations.
“Safety is always a top priority in working with electrical power, and post-storm scenarios are
often fraught with danger,” said Reidel. “With the help of drones, our employees will be
able to assess damage safely and quickly, from afar.”
Enwin will be able to pass on information about electrical fires, downed wires and other potential hazards to Windsor Fire and Rescue Services.
Enwin officials say longer-term benefits could include the early detection of potential electrical fires.