Powerlink is busy preparing for the upcoming summer season with helicopters taking to the skies to inspect electricity transmission lines and wash insulators across North Queensland.
This work involves washing insulators on more than 500 transmission towers ahead of summer and inspecting transmission lines in the region as part of regular maintenance.
Powerlink Executive General Manager Operations and Service Delivery Gary Edwards said these activities were an important part of ensuring the safety and reliability of the transmission system ahead of the storm and cyclone seasons.
“Powerlink has an important responsibility to deliver a safe and reliable supply of electricity to almost five million Queenslanders and this activity helps ensure Queensland’s transmission network is ready for the unpredictable weather over summer,” Mr Edwards said.
“Washing is carried out on towers to remove any contaminants, including dust, which can build up on the insulators during the drier parts of the year. Highly-trained pilots fly the helicopters, which are fitted with a special attachment that sprays demineralised water at high pressure to clean the insulators.
“Local residents may see the helicopter moving relatively quickly and at a low level along the transmission lines with a pause to wash the insulators. The pilots will endeavour to maintain the maximum distance practically possible from houses, livestock and crops, and be as quick and non-disruptive as possible to minimise any potential disturbance to our communities.”
Mr Edwards said helicopters would also be inspecting the network in the region as part of routine maintenance.
“Our aim is to be as quick and non-disruptive as we can when completing these inspections and we understand that low-flying helicopters have the potential to startle some livestock such as horses and cattle, and we encourage people with any questions to contact us for further information,” Mr Edwards said.
“Powerlink appreciates the cooperation and patience of the local community while this essential work is carried out.”
Insulator washing will be undertaken in areas including Arriga, Clare, Julago, Kelso, Majors Creek, Millaroo, Mount Coolon, Osborne, Pinnacles and Woodstock between October and November (weather permitting).
General helicopter Inspections will take place from October to November (weather permitting) in areas including Alice River, Alligator Creek, Black River, Cairns, Clare, Edmonton, Giru, Julago, Majors Creek, Millaroo, Mount Elliot, Mount Louisa, Roseneath, Toomulla, Woodstock and Yabulu where Powerlink’s Queensland network is located.
Further information about Powerlink’s summer readiness activities can be obtained by phoning FREECALL 1800 635 369 (during business hours) or visit www.powerlink.com.au/helicopter-activities.