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Byron Shire
January 26, 2022

Taking wing to fix our poles

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Essential Energy's fixed wing aircraft will take to the sky next month. (Photo supplied).
Essential Energy’s fixed wing aircraft will take to the sky next month. (Photo supplied).

So many years a part of our landscape, powerlines are not a thing we usually take into consideration unless we drive a crane or own a fixed mast yacht, but this important infrastructure needs constant maintenance if you are connected to the grid.

To keep our lines healthy, Essential Energy will take to the sky over the next few months to inspect powerlines and other electrical infrastructure across the Tweed Valley area to capture a detailed picture of the condition of the electricity network.

Starting early next month Essential Energy will use a fixed wing aircraft to fly over the electricity network, taking high resolution digital images and GPS coordinates to record powerline conditions and report areas of concern.

Regional Manager North Coast, Brendon Neyland, said the inspection program was a vital part of Essential Energy’s asset maintenance and helped provide a snapshot of the condition of the electricity network.

‘Essential Energy plans to use specialist imaging technology to inspect the pole top condition of 220,264 power poles across 31,018 kilometres this year, including areas with dense vegetation, rocky outcrops, cliffs and steep mountains where ground-based assessment can be difficult,’ he said.

‘Aerial imagery helps identify if vegetation is encroaching on powerlines and when pole top hardware is damaged or ageing at an accelerated rate.

Leyland also says that taking to the air also provides fast and effective ways to view network assets without the need to enter private properties and inconvenience customers.

Once an issue with the network is identified, Essential Energy will contact the landholder and organise crews to attend the site and undertake any necessary repairs.

Owners of sensitive animals should contact Essential Energy on 13 23 91 to organise a call advising of the fly over so that alternative arrangements can be made prior to the aerial inspections.

Follow Essential Energy on Facebook and Twitter for updates on aerial patrols or visit: essentialenergy.com.au/aerialinspection for further information.

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