Northern Powergrid, the company that powers everyday life for 8 million people, has flown some 12,500 kilometres checking the region's power network.
The company, which manages the network that delivers electricity to 3.9 million homes and businesses across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, took to the skies during 2020 using helicopters to inspect its overhead power lines ready for winter.
During the year around 12,500 kilometres of power lines were checked for any potential damage or deterioration as well as more than 133,500 of the company’s assets.
Pete Wilstrop, Northern Powergrid’s network inspection manager, said: “Taking to the sky to patrol our power network, with our specially trained engineers, allows us to detect any potential problems before they occur. It part of our regular inspections to ensure we continue to provide our customers with a safe, secure and 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. Using our helicopter to check 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.
"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 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.