SP Energy Networks deploys drones for grid inspection

A fleet of drones is carrying out condition-based assessments across the transmission network, which covers Central and Southern Scotland

The Big Zero report

SP Energy Networks (SPEN) is using modern drone technology to inspect its transmission network, which is delivering environmental benefits and helping reduce costs.

Following a successful trial period last year, it has rolled out a fleet of drones, which is now carrying out condition-based assessments across the transmission network, which covers Central and Southern Scotland.

Drone-based inspection firm Cyberhawk is carrying out the inspection, using its iHawk software to collect data against 85 different points on the towers.

This allows SPEN to assess any network risk and inform future investment, enhancing network resilience, integrity and security.

SPEN says the drones are helping to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, supports its drive towards net zero emissions targets.

Pearse Murray, Transmission Director for SP Energy Networks adds: “It’s a massive undertaking to complete the regular inspection of the many towers on our transmission network but the drone technology represents a significant step forward for a number of reasons.

“Firstly, it’s hugely beneficial for the environment and the imagery we obtain is of a high standard due to the flexibility of the drones in assessing tower conditions, meaning we can make even more informed decisions.

“Following the successful trial, we also realised that the drones dramatically minimise the impacts on landowners and make it much easier to arrange access to land when we require it.”

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast