LOCAL man, Robert Scholberg is concerned that Essential Energy is going to remove the old oak tree near the corner of Riverside Drive and the Princes Highway, Narooma.
The work was planned to be carried out last week, however rain delayed the removal.
Robert contacted Eurobodalla Shire Council regarding the matter and was told the council had no jurisdiction over Essential Energy.
“It’s a shame that this beautiful old tree has to be removed for electricity upgrades,” Robert said.
Narooma News contacted Essential Energy regarding the tree removal and was told by a spokesperson for the company that Essential Energy crews are starting a major upgrade of the electricity network in Narooma this month in order to improve the reliability of the local power supply.
“Power lines along Hillcrest Avenue, the Princes Highway and parts of Riverside Drive will be upgraded with higher capacity cable while a number of power poles will also be replaced.
“As part of the upgrade some changes to the existing configuration of the network may be required however Essential Energy is yet to determine the final route.
“Essential Energy will notify the Narooma community in advance if local vegetation will be affected by the upgrade,” the spokesperson for Essential Energy said.
Bird’s eye view inspections
ESSENTIAL Energy meanwhile will take to the air to patrol close to 1,000 kilometres of power lines across the Eurobodalla Shire over the next four weeks.
Starting next week, a fixed wing aircraft using high-tech equipment will take to the sky, with operators getting a bird’s eye view of the electricity network.
Regional general manager, South Eastern, Phillip Green, said the airplane would be used for low level patrols of high voltage power lines across the region.
Operators will use high resolution digital cameras linked to GPS equipment to capture images of poles, power lines and other equipment, as well as potentially damaging overhanging vegetation.
“Using these images and the automatically recorded coordinates, we are able to identify faults or potential problem areas and return quickly to carry out repairs or maintenance,” Phillip said.
“Aerial inspections are perfect for inspecting overhead power lines because they are fast and effective and not dependent on ground conditions. We don’t have to gain access to private property and it doesn’t matter if the terrain is difficult.”
He said that taking to the sky allowed Essential Energy to pinpoint potential weaknesses, including areas where the network had suffered damage from storms or where vegetation may create an issue.
“Once these have been identified, we are then able to send in our crews directly to the site to address the problems,” Phillip said.
He said the aerial patrols, combined with Essential Energy’s ongoing inspection program of poles and wires from the ground, would ensure the local network was in the best possible condition to meet customers’ energy demands heading into winter.
Owners of sensitive animals should advise Essential Energy on 13 20 80 if they require a ‘no fly’ zone, so that arrangements can be made before the aerial inspections begin. Visit essentialenergy.com.au/aerialinspection for more information or follow Essential Energy on Facebook and Twitter for updates about the patrols.