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NORTHERN POWERGRID PATROLS THE SKIES TO PROTECT REGION'S POWER NETWORK

Helicopter Interior over countryside PUBLIC.jpegNorthern Powergrid the company responsible for keeping the lights on across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire has completed its annual programme of helicopter patrols to check the region's power network.

Over the last seven months the company, which manages the network that delivers electricity to 3.9 million homes has taken to the skies using helicopters to inspect its overhead power lines.

Since April around 12,500 kilometres of power lines have been checked for any potential damage or deterioration as well as more than 137,000 tower structures.

Pete Wilstrop, Northern Powergrid’s Network Inspections Manager, said: “Patrolling our power network from the air with our specially trained engineers allows us to detect any potential problems before they occur. These regular inspections ensure we can provide our customers with a reliable power supply.

“Our power lines are often located in isolated areas and have to stand up to rain, snow and high winds over the winter months. Checking them from the air is the best and most efficient way of making sure we can keep our overhead network in good working order.  Any remedial work can be spotted and dealt with so we are ready for the winter months ahead.

"We fly our helicopter at speeds of around 30 kilometres an hour at low levels. Whilst there is some engine noise, the crew work hard to keep it to a minimum and reduce any potential disruption to local communities while they carry out these essential checks. Wherever possible we try to avoid areas where sensitive livestock is grazing."

Northern Powergrid uses its social media channels (Facebook and Twitter @Northpowergrid and @powergridnews) to advise when and where the helicopters are flying.

To see a video about how Northern Powergrid carries out its overhead inspections visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCYCyoPkonw.