Transgrid wins Asset Management award

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

Drone technology helped Transgrid scoop the Asset Management Cost, Risk, Performance Award at the 2024 Asset Management Council Excellence Awards, which recognise best practice asset management in Australia.

Transgrid 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,” Ms Jordan said.

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

Transgrid began deploying Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, or drones, to inspect steel lattice towers and steel and concrete poles across New South Wales and the ACT transmission network in 2023.

Transgrid has inspected 2,200 towers and structures using drones since the program began.

“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,” Ms Jordan said.

The rollout of the technology came after several years of development and successful trials that 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. 

Featured image: Transgrid wins Asset Management award. Courtesy of Transgrid.

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