Transgrid takes out Asset Management Award for drone inspections

23 April 2024

Drone technology has helped Transgrid scoop a top award at this year’s Asset Management Council Excellence Awards which recognise best practice asset management in Australia.

Transgrid took out the Asset Management Cost, Risk, Performance Award for using drones for transmission line maintenance inspections.

Executive General Manager of Network Marie Jordan said: “We’re thrilled that Transgrid has been recognised for embracing technology which is not only helping us work more efficiently but is also removing our people from potential risks.”

“This award is testament to the diligence and dedication of our transmission line asset management and maintenance teams and the critical work they do to keep our network operating safely and reliably for the community.

“Transgrid has achieved success in all of the award categories over the past six years which really demonstrates our asset management is world class in cost, risk and performance, as well as safety, innovation, diversity, information and sustainability,” she said.

Each year as part of Transgrid’s comprehensive maintenance program 6,500 towers and structures across the 13,000 km of transmission lines are inspected. In the past workers that required workers climbing structures to assess their condition.

Last year Transgrid began deploying Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems or drones to inspect steel lattice towers and steel and concrete poles across the NSW and ACT transmission network.

Since the program began Transgrid has inspected 2200 towers and structures using drones.

“I’m really proud of how our teams have embraced this technology as part of Transgrid’s commitment to safety and to continuously improving our processes so we can deliver better outcomes for the community,” Marie said.

The rollout of the technology came after several years of development and successful trials which compared traditional climbing inspections with drone capability.

The trials found drone inspections can deliver efficiencies compared to traditional climbing inspections while also significantly improving safety for workers.

Using drones also reduces the impact on communities by limiting the need to access private properties to do asset inspections.

Transgrid said the drone program is also helping the network digitise information collected and create a high-resolution picture of the asset conditions over time which will support longer-term plans to use artificial intelligence to help detect potential defects. 

Media enquiries: Jonathon Hall 0428 413 708