(TNS) — Dominion Virginia Power has been using unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, for 13 months to inspect Hampton Roads’ power lines — a program the company plans to expand on the Peninsula soon.

Before Dominion started using the drones to take photos of the power lines, they had to fly helicopters or have crews climb up to the lines, said Steven Eisenrauch, Dominion’s manager for electric transmission, forestry and line services.

Dominion started using the drones full time in August 2015, in partnership with Virginia Tech, said Eisenrauch. Since then, the drones discovered six critical issues with Hampton Roads power lines.

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