Transgrid takes to the skies for bushfire prevention program

Helicopter hovers in blue skies above Transgrid transmission infrastructure (bushfire prevention)
Image: Transgrid

Transgrid has launched its comprehensive annual bushfire prevention program, with helicopter inspections, aerial imagery, 3D laser scanning, and thermographic surveying to ensure the safe operation of its network in the lead-up to next summer.

Executive general manager of network Marie Jordan said, “Transgrid takes the risk of bushfires very seriously and the safety of our people, landowners and communities is our first priority.

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“We use best-practice asset management and network safety management systems to reduce bushfire risk and potential impacts to local communities and the surrounding environment.

“A great deal of planning, analysis and modelling goes into ensuring that we right-size our program and resources to maximise effectiveness.

“In the lead-up to the 2024-25 summer period we will ensure a high level of preparedness across more than 13,000km of transmission lines—the equivalent distance of travelling from Sydney to Perth four times.”

Transgrid’s bushfire prevention program will be undertaken from February to September and includes:

  • A 3D laser aerial survey of easements across the entire network using LiDAR technology to identify vegetation growing too close to transmission lines
  • Helicopter inspections and aerial imagery to physically assess the condition of structures and lines
  • Thermographic surveying of transmission lines to identify and address any required asset remediation
  • On-the-ground teams carrying out network maintenance and addressing potential vegetation encroachments.

“Specialist helicopter crews will inspect high-voltage electricity transmission lines in locations including Sydney, the Central Coast, Hunter, Mid-North Coast, Murray, Riverina, Illawarra, Northern Rivers, Southern Inland, New England and Central West,” Jordan said.

“The comprehensive inspections help identify any potential bushfire risks such as vegetation encroachments and assess the condition of towers and transmission lines.

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“Our on-the-ground teams will then carry out any necessary vegetation management to maintain our easement corridors and tower and line maintenance before the start of the next bushfire season.

“Our transmission lines have been safely operating for decades and we are committed to ensuring they continue to do so for many years to come as they are a critical piece of the clean energy transition.”

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