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Helicopter flying to keep the electricity network reliable

My Gungahlin2 February 2020

Helicopter flying to keep the electricity network reliable

Evoenergy will be patrolling ACT powerlines by air from Monday 3 February, all part of the annual bushfire mitigation and safety maintenance program.

Helicopter patrols are used by Evoenergy – and many distribution companies around Australia – to assess how close vegetation is growing to powerlines in order to keep obstructions away from overhead wires.

The helicopter will fly for three weeks, weather and bushfire conditions permitting inspecting Evoenergy’s overhead electricity network as part of its essential maintenance program. The helicopter will patrol rural and urban areas within or adjacent to: 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.

On Sunday 2 February, the helicopter’s priority focus was patrolling part of our damaged network as result of the Beard fire.

Evoenergy Group Manager, Network Services Paul Wheatley said, “These patrols ensure we continue to keep our network one of the most reliable in Australia and is a key part of our bushfire mitigation program. We’re experiencing one of the hottest and driest summers on record, and when you add in windy conditions, trees and branches falling on powerlines is one of the biggest causes of blackouts in the ACT.

“The Canberra community will see a helicopter patrolling to survey our network. In suburban areas the helicopter will fly 310 metres above the ground and in rural areas the chopper flies between 110 and 150 metres.

“Where we find trees too close to powerlines, we will send out letters to Canberrans with a reminder to have their trees trimmed, including a list of Evoenergy-accredited tree surgeons they should use.

“It’s important to only use accredited tree surgeons for your safety, as they’re trained to work with trees close to live wires. If residents aren’t using an accredited tree surgeon, they open themselves up to serious fines if damage occurs.

Due to the dynamic bushfire and weather conditions, flight schedules will be confirmed on a daily basis and follow @EvoenergyACT on Twitter for updates on where the helicopter is flying that day. For more information visit Evoenergy’s website www.evoenergy.com.au/safety

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