Duke Energy is engaged in a project that officials with the utility company hope will prevent buzzards from further damaging its transmission lines and causing outages in northeastern Chatham …
Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to the News + Record – you can do so by clicking here.
Duke Energy is engaged in a project that officials with the utility company hope will prevent buzzards from further damaging its transmission lines and causing outages in northeastern Chatham County.
Buzzards like to roost on transmission towers and their waste has been oozing its way into their insulators, according to Meredith Archie, Duke’s public informations officer.
The company is using helicopters to install new shields on the insulators which won’t harm the buzzards nor prevent them from roosting at other locations on the towers, but will keep them away from tower insulators.
According to letters Duke Energy sent to customers who live along the line, the company will be using a helicopter to place shields on approximately 50 miles of transmission towers from Duke’s Pleasant Garden tie substation at Baswell Road in Pleasant Garden to its Parkwood tie substation at Scott King Road in Durham. The work is expected to be completed by September.
The helicopters, which have been spotted in the Cole Park area, swoop up, in, and around the power lines, using a dangling hook to cart the triangular shaped shields to the top of the transmission towers. They establish a helicopter landing zone near the transmission line to provide a safe location for take-offs and landing. The helicopter crew can install shields on about three towers a day.
The letter Duke Energy sent to its customers notes that residents may see and hear intermittent helicopter activity for one to three days. Duke also asked that if residents have outdoor livestock and/or horses that utilize the corridor and may be sensitive to helicopter activity, the residents should contact Duke Energy to discuss.
“The work will not impact power service to customers,” Archie said. “Additionally, it will not harm the buzzards.”
If you live in the area and have questions, Duke has created an automated voicemail system at 800-365-8979. Residents are asked to include their name, telephone number, physical address and reference the Parkwood Line Enhancement project. Residents may send an email to CarolinasTransmissionEnhancements@duke-energy.com.