NOVI – If you hear low flying helicopters in Southeast Michigan the last 10 days of May, it may be ITC conducting its semi-annual aerial patrols of high-voltage transmission towers and lines.
The aerial inspections will cover the southeast part of the state, including all or parts of Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties.
The inspection flights are often conducted at low altitudes to allow accurate visual inspection of equipment for lightning damage, wear or other potential problems. This is normal procedure, so there is no cause for alarm if a low-flying helicopter is sighted near transmission lines. The flights began in southwest Michigan on May 7 and will cover nearly all of the Lower Peninsula, concluding in northern Michigan approximately June 15.
These patrols are a North American Electrical Reliability Corporation (NERC) requirement for ITC’s vegetation management program, support proactive maintenance objectives, and are in line with the company’s model for operational excellence. They include inspections of steel towers, wood poles, conductors (wires), insulators and other equipment. Crews check for damaged or worn equipment and vegetation hazards.
ITC operates overhead transmission lines through its Michigan operating entities, ITCTransmission and Michigan Electric Transmission Company.
The two systems comprise approximately 8,700 circuit miles of transmission line serving most of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For further information visit www.itc-holdings.com. ITC is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information visit www.fortisinc.com.