ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (May 16, 2011) – Beginning this week, Progress Energy Florida will use helicopters to survey nearly 3,000 miles of transmission lines.
Progress Energy has contracted with GeoDigital to conduct Light Detection and Ranging, or LIDAR, surveys of all transmission lines of 100-kilovolts or greater. The helicopters will fly at about 300 feet off the ground at around 30 mph. They will use pulses of light to survey the transmission rights of way to gather information about encroachments along the line, such as tree limbs, structures and other obstacles. The information will be used to develop 3-dimensional models of each transmission line.
Although the company has conducted this type of survey on transmission lines in the past, this is the first time Progress Energy Florida has surveyed all the 100-kilovolts or greater lines in its Florida system.
The company plans to start the project along its transmission lines in the Panhandle and around the Tallahassee region, before moving south into the Crystal River, Clearwater and St. Petersburg areas and then east into the Orlando area and its Central Florida territory. The surveying will be complete by mid-July, weather permitting.
Progress Energy and many other utilities across the nation are conducting similar surveys upon recommendation of the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC), to ensure that the utilities meet the company’s facility-ratings methodology.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit progress-energy.com.
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