Xcel to check transmission lines with low-flying helicopter

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Eau Claire (WQOW) – Xcel Energy will be inspecting transmission lines that run along Interstate 94 in Minnesota and Wisconsin over the next few weeks.

This is a routine inspection per request of the National Energy Regulatory Commission to insure summer electrical reliability.

What is unique about it is they’ll be using a helicopter that will enable the inspection team to get a birds-eye view of any concerns.

“We employ a helicopter and a trained pilot who can go up and actually look for structural deficiencies, can look for vegetation that might be too close to the lines, that are encroaching the lines, that it could potentially fall,” said Xcel Energy Spokesperson Chris Ouellette. “We also maybe look for structures that have gone up that are too close to our lines that could also pose a safety risk.”

Ouellette wants people to know the helicopter may hover close to the lines but said not to worry.

They expect to start inspections in western Wisconsin later this week.

Photo Credit: Xcel Energy

Geoff Daley

Geoff Daley

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