Unison Networks will today commence its annual aerial survey of approximately 900 kilometres of power lines in Hawke's Bay, Rotorua and Taupo.
The survey will be conducted via helicopter and, depending on weather conditions, is expected to take two weeks to complete.
"Unison actively works to minimise any potential power outages caused by equipment faults or vegetation issues. The annual aerial survey is an efficient means of inspecting overhead line assets rapidly, and provides vital information on their condition, therefore enabling preventative replacement and ultimately improving network reliability.
“The aerial survey also provides the opportunity for Unison to capture and update additional information about the assets to continuously improve the quality of our data," said Unison Group Chief Executive Officer, Ken Sutherland.
It is estimated ninety percent of rural lines and approximately fifty percent of lines in the urban/rural greenbelt areas will be inspected from the air.
Unison Asset Managers use a hand-held camera with a high powered zoom lens to inspect power poles, lines, and vegetation from the helicopter.
Unison's General Manager of Networks and Operations, Jaun Park, said the Company used all practical measures to ensure stock and domestic animals are not disturbed by the aerial survey.
"The enhanced zoom capability of the camera system provides the means to conduct aerial inspection activity from a long distance, avoiding the need to encroach upon areas where we believe animals may be present. Nevertheless, we have identified certain areas which, due to the high numbers of animals, make it difficult to aerially inspect our assets. These areas will be inspected from the ground," said Mr Park.