Eversource to conduct statewide infrared helicopter inspections
To help ensure the reliability of the region’s transmission system, next week Eversource will begin aerial inspections of high-voltage electrical equipment in Connecticut using a helicopter with special imaging equipment. The company anticipates completing the inspections by late February.
With more than 800 miles of transmission rights-of-way in Connecticut, flying infrared inspections allows the company to cover vast distances while capturing images not visible to the naked eye. These images identify the early stages of possible damage to transmission lines and related equipment. The flight inspections allow more testing to be completed in one day than traditional ground methods, while also reducing costs and environmental impacts.
Current plans call for Eversource’s inspections to begin in lower Fairfield County on Monday, Feb. 16, and continue north into Litchfield County. The inspections will continue into the central counties of the state from Long Island Sound to the Massachusetts border, and conclude in eastern Connecticut by Feb. 28. The order of these inspections is based on wind forecasts and could change. All flights are weather permitting; inspections are carried out seven days per week between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Eversource routinely carries out aerial inspections of its lines throughout the year to identify overgrown or damaged vegetation and to complete visual post-storm structure inspections. Infrared inspections are carried out twice a year.
The region’s transmission system is the backbone of the electric grid. Overhead inspections of transmission lines and equipment—often more than 100 feet in the air—help engineers detect potential problems in advance, allowing the company to schedule necessary maintenance and upgrades before reliability issues arise.
For identification purposes, two helicopters are being used for Eversource’s transmission line inspections: a blue and gray Bell, with a registration number N1431W, and a blue and white Bell, with registration number N411DD.
Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity to 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns and provides natural gas to 220,000 customers in 71 communities in Connecticut. For more information, please visit www.eversource.com, Twitter (@EversourceCT) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceCT).