On June 23rd, 2015, SkySpecs was awarded a 333 exemption – the only type of clearance that authorizes companies to legally fly drones in the US. As UpWind’s official partner in the wind industry, this FAA Exemption allows SkySpecs to fly an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with their proprietary collision-avoidance technology called Guardian to visually inspect and photograph wind turbines.
UpWind Solutions, Inc., North America’s most comprehensive independent operations and maintenance (O&M) service provider for wind energy, adds blade inspections using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to their services by partnering with SkySpecs. The partnership will revolutionize the way wind turbines are inspected, by delivering high quality images for reports, improving safety and reducing inspection costs.
On February 15th, the FAA issued a Noticed of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the future outlook of small drones (under 55 pounds). Overall the proposed rules were far more lenient than many people in the industry had expected. A few key rules for the wind O&M industry include:
Recently I was asked the question, why should owners inspect their wind turbines? It was a straight forward question from a colleague looking for an honest answer. Having been in the wind industry 10+ years the simplicity of the question caught me off guard. The first thought that came to my mind was; why don’t owners inspect their assets more!