It takes a team to restore transmission service!

By Constance Clouston

transmission-line-restoration-1-fall-2016It takes a team to restore transmission service!

The “T” in Transmission Line Services (TLS) can also stand for “Team.” What do we do when a transmission line is suddenly out of service? We call in the teams who can assess the situation and get the job done. This is exactly what happened when six poles fell onto a transmission line running from Niagara to Lockport, in turn bringing down another six poles running parallel on the line. The safety mechanisms in place caused the service to be locked out. The result? Crews were tasked with installing twelve 80-foot poles and over 21,000 feet of wire as quickly as possible.

It was determined there were a number of contributing factors:

  • A strong gust of wind was reported in the area around the time of the structure failures.
  • The flat, agricultural terrain had no tree cover to help shield the structures from high winds.
  • The poles were designed with the National Electric Safety Code (NESC) 1977 code, although structural analysis revealed they should have been adequate for NESC Extreme Wind Loading.
  • Bore holes at the base of the structure used for inspection may have reduced the effective strength of the pole.

Restoration efforts started immediately with over 100 personnel on-site including TLS and line workers, transmission-line-restoration-2-fall-2016contracted line workers, fleet mechanics, environmental/safety supervisors, civil contractors and communications support. The new structures were built using steel davit arms, reinsulated, and all new hardware.  In less than a week National Grid was able to restore the line back in service.

That’s the power of teamwork!




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