Legislators from twelve of the nation’s energy producing states met in Jackson, Wyo. last week at the Global Energy and Environmental Issues Conference hosted by the Energy Council. David Swank, CEO of the National Energy Solutions Institute and Smart Energy Source (NESI-SES) Association, addressed legislators on the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, often referred to as UAVs or drones, in the energy sector.
“The NESI-SES Association is honored to be asked to present to such a prestigious audience,” Swank said. “We believe that UAV technology has the ability to not only change the energy industry, but also the landscape of our communities. Now is the time to be engaging on opportunities and issues related to UAV technology.”
The NESI-SES Association is working on several initiatives aimed at furthering the development of UAV technology. Specifically, the NESI-SES Association has identified five key areas of focus related to UAVs:
First, the association is working to shape policy that enables standards and serve as a catalyst for innovation. Second, the association is advancing UAV technology by ensuring that various technologies are evaluated, tested and optimized. Third, the association is engaging stakeholders by developing new alliances that cross traditional boundaries and enable new opportunities for organization and community solutions. Fourth, the association is focusing on building skills and competencies that will create job growth by developing the next generation of employees through targeted education and training programs. Finally, the association is enabling solutions that impact the economy by unleashing the full potential of UAV technology at a local, state and national level.
The NESI-SES Association is engaging its research participants that also include the Oklahoma State University Research Foundation, Cowboy Technologies LLC, OSU Unmanned Aerial Systems Institute, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, and Central Electric Cooperative in the development of a community UAV plan. The comprehensive plan will address the five areas of focus in detail.
Following the presentation, Central Electric Cooperative provided a demonstration of how it is using UAV technology to monitor and analyze the utility grid. A video feed from the UAV is relayed through a communication networks and provides analysts in Central’s systems operation center a real-time view from the field. Analysts can survey storm damage and make assessments on resources needed. UAVs have the ability to fly in areas impassable by trucks or by foot.
Oklahoma legislators in attendance at the conference included state Senator A.J. Griffin, who serves on the Executive Committee of the Energy Council, and Representative Weldon Watson, who is the Council’s Immediate Past Chairman.
The NESI-SES Association is a non-profit association dedicated to finding research-based, effective energy solutions and securing energy for the next generation through collaboration, collective intelligence and business analytics. The association is a collaborative effort among its members the Oklahoma State University Research Foundation, OSU’s National Energy Solutions Institute and Smart Energy Source. The association is headquartered on OSU’s campus in Stillwater, Oklahoma. For more information on the NESI-SES Association follow the association on Twitter @NESI_SES.
Oklahoma State Senator A.J. Griffin was among the Oklahoma legislators in attendance.
NESI-SES Association CEO David Swank demonstrates the use of UAV technology.