Dominion Energy North Carolina

US utility Dominion Energy North Carolina has embarked on a project which aims to avoid power outages by ensuring birds do not nest on the company’s energy transmission lines.

The utility has expanded a programme which includes volunteering abandoned transmission poles for birds to nest on.

The power company has this week used helicopters to install aluminium alloy platforms on its transmission lines, last used 30 years ago.

The company replaced three wooden platforms with aluminium alloy types and installed an additional nine to ensure birds do not use the company’s working transmission lines for nesting.

Carter Clevinger, project manager of transmission reliability at Dominion Energy North Carolina, said: "This is really about safety and reliable service.

"Safety for the osprey because if they build on our energised transmission towers, they run the risk of electrocution; and safety and reliability for our customers by preventing massive power outages on the Outer Banks that could occur if nesting materials contact our lines."

The installation of the aluminium platforms follow the company running a pilot to test whether the aluminium platforms were safe for the birds. The pilot was done near Clarksvill.

"The 12 poles across Currituck Sound are the largest use so far of the platforms and the first time we have used helicopters to install them," Clevinger said.

Dominion Energy operates 6,600 miles of electricity distribution lines and 15,000 miles of natural gas network.

Customer service

In related news, the energy company was in early August allowed by the Virginia State Corporation Commission to refund its overcharged customers. The greenlight allowed for the company to spend between $11 million and $12 million in refunding some 24,000 commercial consumers overcharged due to billing problems experienced by the utility as from July 2013 and June 2016.

A study conducted by the utility company revealed that 10% of its commercial customers in Virginia had their energy consumption inaccurately measured during the firm’s peak demand periods. Read more...

 

Image Credit: 123rf.