Low-flying helicopters to patrol Tampa Electric’s transmission lines
TAMPA, August 20, 2013
Area residents need not be alarmed if they see low-flying helicopters flying near Tampa Electric equipment this week. It’s the final phase of the company’s aerial surveys of transmission equipment to meet new, stricter federal reliability standards.
Work will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday and continue for two days during business hours, weather permitting. A low-flying helicopter will fly between 200 and 800 feet above the ground, photographing and surveying rights of way and some equipment.
The inspections are taking place near Interstate 75 in Hillsborough County. Local law enforcement officials will be notified of the inspections. XP-RS, of Santa Rosa Beach, will conduct the survey.
In 2011 and 2012, Tampa Electric sent low-flying helicopters to conduct Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) aerial surveys along the company’s high-voltage power lines. This work is the final phase of that project. Ground crews have begun trimming and clearing trees along some lines, as determined by the aerial surveys; that work will be complete by the end of 2014.
Tampa Electric and other utilities across the country are working to ensure they meet 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 687,000 customers in West Central Florida. TECO Energy’s other major subsidiary, TECO Coal, owns and operates coal-production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia.