Country Energy up in the air
LOOK skywards over the coming weeks and you'll see a helicopter on patrol for Country Energy.
The organisation is taking to the air during October to identify network equipment faults and vegetation encroaching on high voltage powerlines between Woolgoolga in the north and Karuah in the south.
Australian company HAWCS, which specialises in powerline inspections by trained helicopter pilots, is undertaking the work.
"HAWCS' unique technology enables them to link with our network, mapping software to follow and digitally photograph powerlines, and produce a visual recording that can be overlaid on our geographic maps," Country Energy's regional general manager, Peter Bereicua, said.
"We can then easily pinpoint potential weaknesses, including faults, areas where the network has suffered damage, or vegetation overhanging the lines, and dispatch field crews directly to the site to address the problem."
Mr Bereicua said the helicopters were fast and were not dependent on ground conditions or line access.
"They provide a bird's eye view of our network assets and, unlike some fixed-wing aircraft, they can be used in rugged, hilly country, allowing for better observation of isolated or difficult-to-reach lines."