SunPower becomes first company to receive LAANC authorization through Skyward



Solar energy company SunPower Corp. has become the first company to receive approval from the FAA for “automatic access to operate a drone in regulated airspace over controlled airports.”

The new access category is called Low Altitude Authorization Capability (LAANC), and it was released a few weeks ago in a beta test at four airports, including San Jose (SJC), Cincinnati International Airport (CVG), Reno (RNO), and Lincoln (LNK).

SunPower received LAANC authorization through FAA-approved vendor Skyward.

“Digital, automated, free access to controlled airspace, in the form of LAANC, is one of the greatest moment(s) we've experienced in the U.S. commercial drone industry so far,” says Skyward Co-President Jonathan Evans.

“I'm excited for SunPower and the company's customers, who will get to benefit from LAANC right away.”

Using UAS, SunPower surveys potential solar power plant sites for customers, as a part of its SunPower Oasis Power Plant platform.

The UAS collect information and images, which are used to quickly develop solar plant layouts, in an effort to advance site use and achieve the project goals of customers.

“Leading through innovation, SunPower is proud to be the first company granted the new LAANC access, enabling us to aerially evaluate a broader range of potential project sites for our customers more quickly and comprehensively,” says SunPower CEO and President Tom Werner.

“As part of the SunPower Oasis Power Plant platform, drone flights enable us to efficiently generate solar power plant system layouts to optimize site use and reduce project cost.”

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