Sempra's San Diego Gas & Electric is first utility to get FAA drone license

Sempra Energy (SRE) is the first utility to win FAA approval for a project to begin testing drones that may someday be used to survey remote parts of its electricity network for wildfires and power failures.

SRE's San Diego Gas & Electric, which provides electricity and natural gas to 3.4M customers, plans to use drones to conduct inspections in remote areas that would otherwise be hard to access.

Energy companies already have started to experiment with drone technology: Last year, ConocoPhillips flew drones over Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, and earlier this year a BP flight in Alaska was the first FAA-approved commercial drone operation over land.

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