India’s power transmission firm Sterlite Power has partnered with Palo Alto-based Sharper Shape to offer drone inspection services for utility assets in the country.
As part of the strategic partnership, Sterlite Power will make a minority investment into Sharper Shape to boost market growth in India.
Both the companies are yet to receive an approval from India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for large-scale, long-distance drone flights to inspect utility assets.
By allowing a safe, efficient and fast method of inspection, long-distance drone flights could offer major benefits for the industry.
Sterlite Power chief executive officer Pratik Agarwal said: “Drones are tranforming the way in which infrastructure is built and maintained. Sterlite Power is committed to solving the toughest challenges of energy delivery. We are proud to contribute towards India's vision for a 24X7 power-for-all.”
Besides improving the reliability of Sterlite Power transmission lines, the partnership aims to offer drone inspection services for other utilities in the country.
Deploying drones of utility inspection purposes is expected to increase the uptime of the grid, reduce transmission tariffs, avoid grid blackouts and provide environmental benefits.
The partnership will result in introducing yet another aerial technology to the Indian market.
Sterlite Power has already launched Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) for surveys and helicopters to avoid disturbances to farm activities and neighbours.
The latest partnership furthers strengthens relationship between the two firms following an agreement signed by the companies in February to deliver UAV technologies for the power transmission industry.
The alliance was aimed at offering business solutions to transmission line operators and help them in reducing delivery time of projects, and increase the uptime of power systems.