Today Evoenergy’s annual aerial inspections program commences, inspecting powerlines and electricity network infrastructure by helicopter between 10 May 2021 and 6 June 2021 as part of our essential bushfire mitigation and safety maintenance program.
Weather permitting, our helicopter will fly for four weeks to inspect overhead network infrastructure in rural and urban areas including: Belconnen, Booth, Coree, Cotter River, Gungahlin, Hall, Hume, Jerrabomberra, Kowen, Majura, Mount Clear, Paddy’s River, Rendezvous Creek, Stromlo, Tennent, Tuggeranong, Tharwa, Weston Creek, Woden Valley and Molonglo Valley.
This year, we’ll cover roughly 1,200km of overhead powerlines, saving time and resources to inspect vegetation around poles and wires from the ground. We’ll be looking for vegetation encroaching on powerlines and fly at approximately 110–150 meters in rural areas, and above 1,000 feet (approximately 310 meters) in urban areas. We use Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology to determine the distance between powerlines and trees with minimal hovering.
In the areas where we are concentrating our efforts, we have sent SMS notifications to properties to let residents know that we will be flying in the area.
Helicopter patrols are used by Evoenergy and other network distribution companies around Australia to assess how close vegetation is growing to powerlines to keep obstructions away from overhead wires. Evoenergy Network Services Manager, Zoe Chadwick said that the annual aerial inspections program is essential to ensure we keep our network safe and reliable.
“Each year, trees and branches falling on powerlines continue to be our most significant threat to electricity sparking bushfires and one of the lead causes of power interruptions in the ACT. This program will identify vegetation encroachments so they can be prioritised and addressed,” said Ms Chadwick.
“Over the next four weeks, the Canberra community will see Evoenergy’s helicopter throughout the day, surveying our network. In suburban areas we’ll fly at around 310 metres above the ground and in rural areas between 110 and 150 metres.”
“Where we find trees too close to powerlines, we will notify residents to have their trees trimmed, including a list of Evoenergy-accredited arborists they should use. However, prevention is the best measure and given the recent rainfall and ideal growing conditions, we recommend residents inspect vegetation in their backyard as soon as possible rather than wait for a notification.”
Read more in our clearance around powerlines brochure.
Flight schedules will be confirmed on a daily basis and updates will be posted on Twitter at @EvoenergyACT. For more information visit www.evoenergy.com.au/aerial-inspection-program.
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