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Business reaches great heights with world-class robotic technology

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A Sunshine Coast startup company is revolutionising powerline construction with its drone stringing systems.

Infravision has developed robotic tech – manufactured and assembled at Coolum Beach – and partnered with publicly owned energy company Powerlink to deliver safer, quicker and more sustainable opportunities for powerline stringing.

They are using drones to string 50km of transmission lines to connect the Genex Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro System to the Queensland electricity SuperGrid. It includes the longest section of high-voltage electricity transmission line strung by drones in the Asia-Pacific region.

Infravision was founded in 2018 and it has grown to more than 70 employees in under five years. It’s expected to double in size during the next 12 months.

The company’s expansion is largely due to its growing partnership with Powerlink and the rollout of renewables in Queensland.

Powerlink identified Infravision – through EnergyLab’s Scale Up Program in 2019 – as a supplier that could assist in delivering connection projects more efficiently.

Infravision staff with Minister for Renewable Energy Mick de Brenni.

Since then, the company has gone global and it now exports its tech to customers in America, Canada and India.

Powerlink has tested the use of drones for line stringing on smaller projects to determine the technology’s feasibility.

The technology has proved to be more versatile, have less impact on landholders and is safer than established methods of using helicopters or ground crews.

Minister for Renewable Energy Mick de Brenni hailed Infravision’s expansion.

“These are green-collar jobs being created right here on the Sunshine Coast, all thanks to renewable energy projects and government partnerships,” he said.

“Powerlink’s partnership with Infravision is further proof that Queensland’s policies and our commitment to a renewable energy future will lead to a jobs and economic boom in all pockets of the Sunshine State.

“Congratulations to Infravision and the team at Powerlink, whose ongoing partnership means stronger safety measures for field-workers, and greater job opportunities for Sunny Coast locals.”

Startup company Infravision boasts world-class robotic technology.

Infravision president of air operations Josh Williams said the partnership involving Infravision and Powerlink was “setting new standards in the energy sector by delivering more efficient and sustainable transmission solutions”.

“Our collaboration is deeply focused on enhancing the safety of Queensland’s workforce, minimising environmental impact, and ensuring we get the job done on time,” he said.

“We look forward to expanding our partnership with Powerlink to drive further innovation in transmission construction to deliver the safest, most cost-effective outcomes for the benefit of Queensland’s energy consumers.”

Infravision regional director Matt Jones said they were breaking new ground.

“We take pride in how our collaboration with Powerlink is fostering innovation at our Queensland manufacturing facility, creating jobs for Queenslanders and enabling the integration of cutting-edge Australian technology and services to bolster the worldwide shift towards sustainable energy,” he said.

Powerlink chief executive officer Paul Simshauser welcomed the use of drones.

“We are constantly looking at ways to work smarter and connect Queenslanders to renewable energy in a cost-effective, safe way,” he said.

“This technology has proven to be less intrusive for landholders, safer for our team and gets the job done quicker.”

Staff and supporters of Infravision at the company’s Coolum base.

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