The company that powers everyday life for 8 million people across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire has been taking to the sky throughout the year to inspect its overhead power lines ready for winter.
Northern Powergrid has flown some 13,500 kilometres during the year, checking for any potential damage or deterioration and inspecting more than 137,500 of its network assets.
Pete Wilstrop, Network Inspections Manager at Northern Powergrid, said: "Our electricity network delivers power to 3.9 million homes and businesses, and it's vitally important that we detect any potential problems before they occur. Taking to the sky to patrol our power lines means that we can quickly carry out inspections, allowing us to carry out any remedial works and repairs to ensure we continue to provide a safe, secure and reliable power supply to our customers.
"Our power lines are often located in isolated areas and have to stand up to rain, snow and high winds over the winter months. Using our helicopter to check them from the air is the best and most efficient way to keep our overhead network in good working order.
"Our helicopter flies at low levels at speeds of around 30 kilometres an hour. 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 carrying 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.
Northern Powergrid, as part of its planning for 2023 and beyond, has recently launched its draft business plan, which includes proposals to drive excellence in our front-line operations and improve safety, resilience and reliability for our customers.
Northern Powergrid is currently engaging with its customers and other key stakeholders to understand if they agree and accept its proposals in readiness for submitting its final business plan for 2023-28 to the energy regulator, Ofgem, on 1 December 2021. To share your views click here.