The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has put communities on lockdown and created a need for social distancing. Many are staying at home, but that’s not an option for the frontline workers running critical power transmission infrastructure and keeping the lights on.
How can utilities keep up with their operational and safety obligations with a reduced onsite workforce? Specifically, how can utilities maintain power line inspection and maintenance regimes, and what are the additional challenges for those in areas such as California, where COVID-19 collides with other threats, such as wildfire season?
By definition, power transmission and distribution networks deal with long distances. At the best of times power line inspection entails despatching crews into the most remote pockets of a country or state, far from major population centres.