Monday, September 01, 2014

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National Grid inspects power lines

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Albany/HV: National Grid inspects power lines
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It's an important task that can only be done from hundreds of feet in the sky. National Grid inspects about 8,500 miles of transmission lines across the northeast by use of helicopter each year. Our Brad Vivacqua and YNN photographer Jason Hy recently joined a National Grid crew as they inspected a portion of Central New York lines.

NEW YORK -- Transmission lines are the backbone of National Grid's delivery system, so the goal is to make sure there are no downed or damaged lines.

The flight started just north of Syracuse, and combed across about a 20 mile span of southern Onondaga County. This is an annual procedure for the power company from areas ranging north and south of Albany to Buffalo.

National Grid distributes electricity to more than three million customers in the northeast, and these inspections are critical to maintain the system.

"We have various sets of programs in place to help maintain the reliability of the system. Make sure that we can preemptively patrol things and correct issues before they become a major issue. And, it's really all about reliability and keeping the lights on for our customers," said Nick Gibson, National Grid.

Officials say National Grid's coverage area is broken down into three regions. They say it takes about two weeks of steady flights to inspect one region of the coverage area.

No issues with any of the lines were found during this flight, but National Grid is always looking for feedback if you should see a problem.

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