Recently, Measure announced its partnership with AES, a Fortune 200 global power company. Over the next year, AES and Measure will deploy drones at a scale unprecedented in the energy and drone industries, flying in seventeen countries with an estimated reduction of more than 30,000 hazardous work hours annually. Jesse Stepler, Measure’s COO, and Zac Penix, AES’ Director of Drone & Robotic Solutions, are here to share the details of this groundbreaking partnership and what it means for the future of drones in the energy space.
Why has AES chosen to partner with Measure?
Zac: Employing drones advances AES' mission of putting “safety first.” It reduces the exposure of our people to the inherent hazards of our industry and improves the availability of our assets. We expect to avoid more than 30,000 hours of hazardous work per year as the program rolls out. While we have more than 100 trained drone pilots at AES, in order to truly scale our industry-leading drone program over the next three years, we wanted to use a leading drone service company that has the latest equipment, the most seasoned pilots, and the ability to handle the end-to-end workflow. We chose Measure as our preferred solution provider because of their turnkey solution, best available technology, and because they are operationally aligned with AES’ first corporate value of “safety first.”
Jesse: Before choosing to partner with Measure, AES had spent three years building a drone program in-house. To operate at the same capability on a larger scale, AES has chosen Measure to execute the expansion of its drone program because they are confident in Measure’s ability to bring our varied experience and best-in-class technology solutions to the table. In addition to energy, we fly in industries ranging from telecommunications to agriculture. The breadth of experience we have gained over the last few years means we can cross-pollinate from all of our verticals and apply them to our work with AES—something we believe will be immensely beneficial going forward.
Operationally, what does the partnership entail for Measure and AES?
Jesse: Measure is providing a turnkey solution, best-available technology, and best-practice governance for AES’ drone program. We are coordinating with AES to execute inspections across their energy infrastructure in the United States and internationally. The inspections will be performed across the full suite of energy infrastructure assets, including renewable and thermal generation, transmission and distribution lines, and pipelines throughout AES’ entire global portfolio.
How will Measure and AES’ work impact the drone industry and the power industry?
Jesse: Drones will enable the energy industry to shorten down times, lower potential energy costs to the consumer, reduce hazardous man hours, and benefit from higher quality inspection data products. Overall, there will be an improvement in safety, reliability, and productivity. There is a lot of hype surrounding drone technology, but few providers can deliver return-on-investment for the enterprise end-user. With this partnership, Measure will be taking commercial drones to industry maturity.
Zac: At AES, we constantly seek new ways to make work safer for our people. Over the last two years, we have avoided more than 15,000 hours of hazardous work by incorporating drone technologies. Our expectation is that this number will grow significantly through our partnership with Measure as we scale our drone program globally. Additionally, by inspecting our energy infrastructure potentially more frequently and quickly, we expect to further increase the availability of our assets, supporting the reliability and stability of the electricity grid. We expect this partnership to further prove the ability of drones to play an important part in maintaining a safe workplace in companies across the power sector.
It’s incredibly exciting to see drones transform an industry the entire world depends upon. As drones continue to become a staple in our lives in our lives, AES has taken the lead in the power industry by partnering with Measure to deploy drones at an unprecedented scale.
For Measure’s official press release on its partnership with AES, check out our news and insights page.