Eye in the sky patrols poles and wires

RESIDENTS in Jindabyne and surrounding areas can expect to see helicopters patrolling the electricity network in the coming weeks using radar technology to survey powerlines and poles.

The aerial survey will provide Essential Energy with a bird's eye view of the electricity network, including potential faults and vegetation growing too close to powerlines.

Regional manager South Eastern, Phillip Green, said the helicopters would be used for low level patrols of the poles and wires across the region until late July.

Operators will use high resolution three-dimensional cameras to capture images of poles, powerlines and other equipment, as well as potentially damaging overhanging vegetation.

"Using these images and the automatically recorded GPS coordinates, we are able to identify faults or potential problem areas and return quickly to carry out repairs or maintenance," Mr Green said.

"Due to the nature of these patrols, residents can expect the helicopters to fly in close proximity to the network and hover over individual poles to enable the collection of the relevant images and data."

Aerial inspections are fast and effective, not dependent on ground conditions and allow Essential Energy to pinpoint potential weaknesses in the network.

"Once these have been identified, we are then able to send in our crews directly to the site to address the problems," Mr Green said.

Aerial patrols, combined with Essential Energy's ongoing ground-based inspection program, helps ensure the local network is in the best possible condition to meet customers' energy demands.

Owners of sensitive animals should advise Essential Energy on 13 20 80 if they require a "no fly" zone.

Visit essentialenergy.com.au/aerial for more information or follow Essential Energy on Facebook and Twitter for updates about the patrols.

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