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I&M to Use Drone to Inspect Eastern Fort Wayne Transmission Line

September 28, 2022

FORT WAYNE, Sept. 28, 2022 – Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) will use an aerial drone to inspect a transmission line east of Fort Wayne on Thursday and Friday, weather permitting.

The drone inspection of wires and poles will take place on the first section of the Eastern Fort Wayne Transmission project. The drone will fly between a substation southeast of New Haven, near U.S. 30 and Webster Road, to a substation northeast of New Haven, near I-469 and U.S. 24.

These inspections help I&M to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the area’s transmission system. The aerial drone will capture high-resolution video images of the newly constructed, 4.2-mile section of the Eastern Fort Wayne Project line and its 23 new poles to confirm its condition. Inspection crews will use existing roads or lanes to access the power line route.

Landowners along the path of the line received written notice of the inspection.

Safety is the top priority for I&M. A licensed operator pilots the drone, assisted by a camera operator/inspector on the ground. Inspection teams follow all FAA rules, including the requirement that the pilot maintain line of sight to the drone at all times. The inspection team will travel along the rights-of-way near the transmission lines. I&M has contracted with Commonwealth Associates of Michigan, a company with experience in drone inspections of utility lines, to manage the aerial inspection.

Inspections are scheduled to begin Thursday and conclude Friday, though weather conditions could extend the timetable.

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ABOUT INDIANA MICHIGAN POWER: Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its approximately 2,100 employees serve more than 600,000 customers. More than 80% of its energy delivered in 2021 was emission-free.  I&M has at its availability various sources of generation including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, more than 22 MW of hydro generation in both states and approximately 35 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 2,620 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.

ABOUT AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER: American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP’s approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,900 megawatts of renewable energy. The company’s plans include growing its renewable generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2030. AEP is on track to reach an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieving net zero by 2050. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.

Michael Bianski
Indiana Michigan Power Communications
(260) 249-5419








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