Low-flying helicopters to patrol Tampa Electric’s power lines
TAMPA, July 20, 2011
Beginning Monday, a low-flying helicopter will conduct Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) aerial surveys of some of Tampa Electric’s high-voltage power lines.
A helicopter will fly about 500 feet above the power lines, similar to our annual aerial inspection work.
LiDAR technology uses pulsing light to determine the shape of the ground surface and other features. The information will be used to develop 3-D models of the lines.
Work will begin at 8 a.m. July 25 and continue for about two weeks during daylight hours. The company plans to start the project in the Westchase, Citrus Park and Northdale communities, before moving south into the Palmetto Beach, Progress Village, Riverview and FishHawk areas, ending in western Polk County. The survey also will include Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Balm and Fort Lonesome. The surveying will be complete by mid-August, weather permitting. Tampa Electric has hired Surveying and Mapping Inc. (SAM) to conduct the surveys.
This is the first year of a three-year project that also includes ground surveys on foot and in vehicles. Crews will survey 162 miles of transmission lines before the end of 2011, or about one-third of the system. At a later date, crews will clear along the lines as needed.
Tampa Electric and most utilities across the country are conducting similar surveys to ensure they meet the new, stricter reliability standards of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE), an energy-related holding company with regulated utility operations in Florida, including both Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System . Tampa Electric serves more than 672,000 customers in West Central Florida. Other subsidiaries include TECO Coal, which owns and operates coal production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia, and TECO Guatemala, which is engaged in electric power generation and energy-related businesses in Guatemala.