Transgrid has carried out safety management procedures such as helicopter inspections, thermographic surveying and network maintenance over thousands of kilometres to help prevent bushfires within New South Wales.
As part of the program, Transgrid performed helicopter inspections, aerial imagery, 3D laser scanning, thermographic surveying, vegetation management and network maintenance to help local communities prepare for the upcoming summer.
Transgrid’s 2023 bushfire safety management program includes:
- A 3D laser aerial survey of easements across the entire network using LiDAR technology to identify vegetation growing too close to transmission lines
- An extensive vegetation management program with on-the-ground teams assessing and mitigating potential vegetation encroachments
- Helicopter inspections and aerial imagery of the network to physically assess the condition of towers and lines
- On-the-ground teams carrying ou network inspections and maintenance to avoid potential bushfire hazards
- Thermographic surveying of substations to identify and address any required asset upgrades
Executive General Manager of Network, Marie Jordan, said that the company is helping local communities prepare for what is likely to be a severe bushfire season.
“We take the risk of bushfires very seriously and the safety of our people and local communities is our first priority. That’s why we have ensured a high level of preparedness across more than 13,000km of transmission lines.
“Transgrid uses best-practice asset management and network safety management systems to reduce bushfire risk and potential impacts to local communities and the surrounding environment.”
“These aerial surveys and inspections involved 500 flying hours and have enabled our teams on the ground to proactively respond to potential bushfire hazards including vegetation management and tower and line maintenance,” Ms Jordan said.
“About half of our maintenance expenditure each year relates to mitigating bushfire risk, including ongoing and comprehensive vegetation management to maintain our easement corridors. This is conducted in parallel with asset inspection programs and rectification works to ensure the safe operation of our network.
“Transgrid also works closely with the NSW Rural Fire Service and local BushFire Management
Committees made up of landholders, land managers, fire authorities and community organisations.
“During bushfire season, we work very closely with the fire authorities to provide safe and secure access to our easements for firefighters including de-energising transmission lines if required.
“Our focus is on prevention first and that’s why our network planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance takes bushfire risk into account every step of the way.”
Featured image: Transgrid aerial inspections. Image courtesy of Transgrid