Service on the line: Osprey nest removal a success

By Kathy Hill

Just after sunrise, in torrential rain, a National Grid team recently performed an extensively planned and coordinated operation: the safe removal of three osprey nests from a North Country 115kV transmission line. Serving Saranac Lake, Ray Brook and the Lake Placid Municipal Electric Department, the line had to be de-energized to complete the work, impacting approximately 5,000 National Grid customers and 5,000 municipal customers.

While affected customers had been notified that the Aug. 18 planned outage was scheduled for 5:30–7:30 a.m., the team ultimately was able to complete the work and restore service in about 80 minutes. Our distribution crews took advantage of the event to perform additional work, avoiding the need for a future planned interruption.

“While the ospreys’ resurgence is great news for the environment, their nesting activity creates the potential for major service interruptions,” Jamie Pierie, director, Construction and Maintenance, Electric, explained. “The ospreys use our structures to build and expand their nests. As the nests grow, they encroach on the conductors, which can lead to increasing damage.” The nests were relocated onto specially constructed platforms nearby, safely away from the power line.

Because nest removal can only be done when nests are unoccupied during certain times of the year, the company worked with the Department of Environmental Conservation and other state agencies – as well as our critical-needs customers – on the early-morning plan. Coordinating National Grid teams were from Transmission Engineering, Transmission Line Services, Transmission Commercial Services, Community & Customer, Central Regional Control Center, Transmission Control Center, Environmental, and Northern Region operations.

Calling the project an example of National Grid teamwork and customer focus, Rich Burns, manager, Community & Customer, said, “Communicating across the board was really important to coordinating this outage. Everyone did a great job.”

To read local media coverage on the project, see here.


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