POWER engineers are to take to the skies – to check the safety of miles of high-voltage cables in Huddersfield.
Electricity engineers are to use a helicopter to inspect the condition of the area’s electricity network after a winter of gales and blizzards, the worst for 30 years.
They will be taking high-resolution digital pictures of around 161 metal pylons in the area from above and will later inspect them for any damage or deterioration that could lead to power cuts.
The work begins next week and will take two weeks.
The 20-mile stretch of high-voltage power line is responsible for the electricity supplies to thousands of properties in the area.
Gary Bartholomew, network inspections manager at CE Electric UK, which owns the electricity distribution network in Yorkshire, says that the power lines are in one of the most vulnerable and exposed areas of the company’s network.
He said: “The power lines in the Huddersfield area are exposed to the elements and severe weather can take its toll on our electricity network.
“The wind can lead to power cuts by causing the conductors to clash together or blow debris onto the lines, potentially bringing them down.
“If it’s cold, the wind can also cause ice to build up on the lines, sometimes crippling them under the sheer weight.
“We’re committed to keeping power cuts to an absolute minimum, whatever the weather, and that’s why it’s so important that we carry out regular inspections like these, to make sure that our network is in good condition.”
The exact day of the patrols will be weather dependent and the company will be advising farmers to consider bringing cattle or horses inside if the flight path crosses their land.