AusNet Services, formerly SP AusNet, will be flying its helicopter along main powerlines from Wangaratta to Kilmore in Victoria, photographing electricity assets as part of the company’s maintenance and bushfire mitigation programs.
Helicopter inspections allow the company to photograph a large volume of assets in challenging terrains and diverse landscapes across its electricity network spanning 80,000 square kilometres in eastern Victoria.
AusNet Services’ Regional Customer and Community Manager, Craig Velt, said that aerial inspections help the company achieve a 37-month inspection cycle of electricity assets in high bushfire risk areas.
“With the helicopter, we can quickly fly along our powerlines in challenging landscapes to photograph assets for our technical specialist to assess and then direct our field workers to undertake the appropriate action required,” Mr Velt said.
“The helicopter inspections are a part of our extensive inspection and maintenance programs to ensure we are prepared for the coming bushfire season.”
This year, AusNet Services will inspect approximately 135,000 power poles and assets through ground and aerial inspections – utilising modern devices such as drones – in addition to clearing approximately 240,000 trees from powerlines.
“Our inspection programs help determine our extensive maintenance programs across our network comprising of 385,000 power poles and 49,816 kilometres of powerlines,” Mr Velt said.
AusNet Services operates the helicopter between 10am and 3pm, flying at approximately 100 feet with custom blades that minimise noise.