After you’ve constructed a power substation, how do you safeguard that investment?
Substations are commonly located in remote areas, making them even more susceptible to malicious activity and accidents. Safety and security breaches at a substation can be extremely costly—and even deadly.
Thieves will go to great lengths to steal this valuable metal. Since copper is used in critical elements of a substation, copper theft can cause downtime and expensive repairs. Thieves also put themselves in great danger, accessing high-voltage areas with bolt cutters that could clip an active wire.
Snipers and hackers have attacked substations with gunfire and cyber terrorism. These incidents have caused government agencies to emphasize the importance of protecting our nation’s infrastructure and power grid.
Birds of prey such as eagles and osprey like to build their nests on tall structures. When these nests are built on substations, the birds are at risk of harming themselves and causing power outages. It requires the cooperation of wildlife officials and utility personnel to safely remove the nests, which can be up to 3 feet wide.
At Delta, we specialize in distribution construction and maintenance services, both underground and overhead. Despite the risks of having technicians working down in the trenches and up in the bucket trucks, we’ve maintained a proven safety record. Continue reading →
Our industry is always seeking innovative ways to reduce risks and hazards while also improving the reliability of our electric grid.
It’s not a bird…It’s not a plane…It’s a drone!
In 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the first energy company, ComEd, to operationally pilot unmanned aircraft systems. The ComEd program has successfully launched more than 250 drone flights, and it continues to expand. By 2020, ComEd anticipates having a fully operational drone program with expanded flight mission capabilities.
Exelon, one of Delta’s main customers, has also invested in the use of drones to raise their safety performance. Their mid-Atlantic utilities, including BGE and PECO, are developing pilot programs to incorporate drone technologies into their everyday operations.
Benefits of the Drone Program
Instead of having to climb tall structures or energized equipment to maintain power lines, workers can use drones to capture system images. The aerial perspective and high-resolution images from drones provide benefits such as:
Mitigating injury risk for line workers on dangerous terrain
Analyzing storm damage in locations that might be inaccessible
Minimizing planned power outages by capturing images of energized equipment while they are running
Technology Advancements for Utilities
With technology continuing to advance, drones can eventually replace other aerial imaging sources such as helicopters. Whereas helicopters might harm the surrounding environment due to their size and wind power, drones minimally impact the environment.
Utilities are also forming 3D maps with hyperspectral imaging and LiDAR technology. This allows them to assess potential risks of the local landscape and vegetation, helping to preserve natural habitats and species.
Delta is excited about our industry’s use of advance technologies to provide a safer environment for our workers and to produce energy more efficiently for our customers.
Every day, safety is a top priority for electric utilities around the country. During the month of May in particular, our industry highlights the importance of safety precautions.
Creating Buzz About Electrical Safety
Utilities are using social media and community events to increase awareness about electrical safety. They educate customers about driving safely in work zones to protect linemen, not overloading outlets, and avoiding power lines. Children are also learning safety tips when linemen visit their schools to talk with them.