Low-flying helicopters to patrol Tampa Electric’s power lines
TAMPA, February 13, 2012
Beginning Tuesday, 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 Tampa Electric’s 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. Feb. 14 and continue for about three weeks during daylight hours. Crews will survey 320 miles of transmission lines, or about two-thirds of the system. At a later date, crews will clear along the lines as needed.
The company plans to start the project in southwestern Polk County, covering the Lakeland area and Winter Haven this week. In coming days, the surveys will reach parts of Hillsborough County. The surveying will be complete by early March, weather permitting. Chesapeake Bay Helicopters will conduct the surveys.
This will conclude a project that began in July 2011. It also includes ground surveys on foot and in vehicles.
Tampa Electric and most utilities across the country are conducting similar surveys to ensure they meet the 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.