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APS: Using drones for maintenance has saved $1 million

Posted at 5:34 PM, Mar 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-30 07:29:25-04

Arizona Public Service is taking maintenance to new heights, using drone technology to make the power grid safer and more reliable.

The utility company now uses drones to inspect much of its infrastructure, including power plant boilers, power lines and solar fields. These are tasks that used to take weeks that are now taking just days, according to Scott Bordenkircher with APS.

“The efficiencies that we've gained, the ability to take people out of harm’s way when they're doing difficult tasks really speeds up the process of inspections,” said Bordenkircher.

That means with the hot summer months ahead, crews can get ahead of any potential problems before you’re sweating it out through an outage.

“We can get crews out there the first time with the right stuff on the trucks to get those repairs as quickly as possible,” said Bordenkircher.

APS has been using drones for about three years and during that time the company has saved more than a million dollars--a benefit which eventually gets passed down to customers.

“Everything we're able to save from an efficiency standpoint, everything we're able to do quicker, results in a direct saving to our customers,” said Bordenkircher.