power line at sunset

In the coming weeks, Power and Water Corporation crews will be installing devices to reduce the risk and frequency of power disruptions caused by roosting bats on powerlines.

These unplanned disruptions are typical at this time of year, as it’s peak ‘bat season’ for residents of Darwin’s rural areas.

Stuart Eassie, Acting Senior Manager Asset Management, said the installation of bat protection devices is only one part of Power and Water Corporation’s strategy to minimise power outages caused by bats.

“We continue to install bat protection devices to complement a range of other preventative measures designed to minimise the power interruptions our customers experience,” Mr Eassie said.

“These include upgrades to infrastructure, pruning back trees near powerlines and utilising new technology that monitors and improves reliability.

“Our plan this dry season is to install an additional 500 bat guards to power-poles across the Florina, Mataranka, Batchelor, Dundee and Acacia areas.

“This builds on the 800 bat guards we installed last dry season along the Howard Springs feeder to discourage them from landing on the insulators. Guards were also installed along the Middle Point, Herbert, Humpty Doo and Dundee feeders.”

Each dry season, between May and October fruit bats congregate around powerlines. 

“When one food source is depleted they move on to the next. This is why we vary the location of our installations,” Mr Eassie said.

“Last dry season we saw three times the number of power outages caused by wildlife in July and August, compared to the five-year average for peak bat season.”

Power and Water maintains a power network of more than 52,000 powerpoles, 7,000km of overhead lines and almost 3,000km of underground cables to deliver safe and reliable power to Northern Territory residents.

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