Essential Energy will conduct aerial patrols to assess the condition of its electricity network in southern and northern NSW as part of its asset inspection program.

A fixed wing plane will be used to identify damaged or deteriorating network assets and potential vegetation encroachments.

Inspection areas  include Albury, Bathurst, Bega, Berrigan, Blanyney, Bombala, Boorowa, Braidwood, Canowindra, Coolamon, Cooma, Cootamundra, Corowa, Crookwell, Culcairn, Deniliquin, Goulburn, Griffith, Gundagai, Harden, Jindabyne, Junee, Lockhart, Molong, Moruya, Oberon, Orange, Queanbeyan, Tumbarumba, Tumut, Wagga and Yass.

General Manager Network Services, Luke Jenner, said the aerial patrols were part of Essential Energy’s Bushfire Risk Management Plan and the data captured would help ensure the safety and reliability of the network.

“The program will inspect the pole top condition of 107,100 power poles across 14,788km of our network,” Mr Jenner said.

“Aerial patrols are an effective way to view our network assets to assess if vegetation is encroaching on power lines or whether pole top hardware is damaged or aging.

“Essential Energy may also from time to time use drones to inspect the electricity network in areas that are sensitive or inaccessible using conventional method.”  

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