Driving Innovation

ComEd’s Linda G. Rhodes Looks to the Clouds to Keep the Energy Flowing

October 26, 2016
Linda G. Rhodes, UAS program manager, ComEd

Linda G. Rhodes, UAS program manager, ComEd

It began with the question, “Where can ComEd best leverage robotic technologies to serve our customers better?”

It ended with ComEd becoming the first electric utility company to be granted permission by the Federal Aviation Administration to use unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) – or drones – in operations.

Linda G. Rhodes, UAS program manager, chats with Jeremiah Karpowicz, the executive editor for Commercial UAV News, about how ComEd began using the flying technology to inspect parts of its more than 90,000 miles of power lines positioned high above the ground.

A drone, which comes equipped with cameras to record video and take photos, allows ComEd to assess and inspect power lines to be more proactive in identifying problems before they interrupt power to customers. In addition, following storms, the technology can help pinpoint storm-damaged equipment to help restore outages quicker and save customers money. Read the story here.