Drones Will Be In The Air This Hurricane Season

Blurred drone landing

Photo: Getty Images

The power is getting restored quicker these days. That's what an FPL spokesman says, comparing what happened after Hurricane Ian last year to storms from years past.

"That's the result of our grid investments, making our grid stronger, smarter, more storm resilient and using technology to help detect outages and prevent outages."

Conlan Kennedy says out of the more than 2.1 million customers who lost power during Hurricane Ian, two-thirds had it restored within a day. More than 75 percent of customers left in the dark were restored after two days.

One piece of technology being used for the first time last season was 'FPLAir One,' a drone the size of a small airplane.

"It allows us to see where the problems are before we can get bucket trucks in the air. It will allow us to assess the damage, using infrared technology to see exactly where the damage is located."

This year, it's the debut of the drone in a box.

"The program uses a drone that's housed in a hurricane-resilient container that can fly autonomously along a predetermined route. That allows us to efficiently assess any damage to our electrical system."

Kennedy says that box can withstand Category 5 hurricane force winds. Then once those winds die down, the drone leaves the box for immediate damage assessment.

Technological advances have also allowed Florida Power & Light to deploy this year the 'FPL Evolution Trailer,' the state's first electric vehicle mobile charging trailer. It's designed to provide fast charging on-the-go charging for EV drivers before and after severe weather.

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