Maryland’s MissionGO has contracted with Southern California Edison (SCE) to provide drone-based inspection services of the utility’s assets over the next three years. The deal is part of SCE’s plan to spend some $50 million on drone inspection services to inspect and maintain nearly 160,000 of its electricity poles.
The scope of the contract demonstrates how drone technology has moved past the “hype” and is now providing essential services to industries such as energy and utilities. For companies like MissionGO, the contract stands as a foundation for the technology working at scale, which is where real value and opportunity can be found.
“Using uncrewed aircraft for inspection work opens the door to faster, more cost-efficient, and safer operations for all kinds of infrastructure from electric lines and poles to wind turbines and pipelines,” said Chris Corgnati, President of MissionGO. “As the industry leans more and more toward this kind of innovation, MissionGO is committed to being the leader in safe and efficient inspection services.”
The new contract expands on MissionGO’s ongoing inspection work for SCE, which began in 2019. Since that time, MissionGO has conducted 6,500 flights, racked up more than 1,200 hours in the air, and reviewed and captured data from 20,000 distribution poles and 4,000 transmission poles—all without incurring a single incident. This work has enabled SCE to make necessary repairs to its infrastructure and aided in the prevention of wildfires.
Given MissionGO’s years of providing safe and efficient inspections for SCE, Corgnati believes that the new contract will further demonstrate the advantages of using uncrewed systems to perform crucial tasks for the energy and utilities industry.
“MissionGO has a proven track record of operating to the highest aviation standards,” he asserted. “Our team focuses on delivering quality and actionable information at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional manual inspection services. Our number one priority is always safety. Doing the job is just not enough—MissionGO delivers on the guarantee of a job done right, done well, and done safely.”