Our Vegetation Programmes

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Proactive management – clearing trees around your power lines

To keep your power on, we need to keep the trees out.

We’ve been working on our inspection methods, so we can get quality data on our assets and the growth of trees and plants around them. This helps us make decisions on how we best manage vegetation and maintain and fix our overhead lines.

It’s an important focus for us because it has a big impact on you. Trees and maintenance affect how many power outages you have in the short-term, and the overall reliability of the network in the long-term.

Let’s look at how we are tracking.

Clearing trees from around your power lines

We love trees, but not in or near our power lines. They are a hazard and cause outages for you that we want to avoid. Many serious outages in storms are caused by trees or branches being blown onto lines, often from moderate distances. Proactive management is important.

We are finding ways to get on top of this issue, and we’ve moved from a reactive to a managed cyclical approach across our network. Using years of data, including historical tree cutting information and network reliability statistics, we can see where changes need to be made.

We’ve determined that by shifting the cycles of tree and vegetation cutting in certain parts of our network, we can get better outcomes for you, our customers.

Our Challenge

To keep your power safe and reliable, we need to keep the trees at bay.

Trees growing over power lines, or branches falling onto lines during storms, pose a serious risk for power outages in your community.

Vegetation maintenance can affect how many power outages you have in the short-term, and impact the overall reliability of the network in the long-term.

Our Solution

Utilising new initiatives for proactive management:

  • We’ve been advancing our inspection methods
  • We’ve developed a managed cyclical approach across our network. Using data, including historical tree cutting information and network reliability statistics, we can see where changes need to be made, and plan the work accordingly
  • Additionally, we’re taking a risk-based rather than cyclical approach for our most critical assets. From 2019, trees in identified areas will be annually inspected and trimmed to meet regulatory clearance levels

One of the most exciting developments we have trialled is LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). A helicopter flies over our power lines with technology that maps and measures the distance of trees from the lines – if we can see it, we can deal with it before it becomes a problem.

What this Means

Our managed cyclical approach is underway, and we’ve significantly increased tree trimming compared to previous years. This means improved safety and reliability of power supply to you.

We’re investing in cutting-edge technology through LiDAR, to support reliability of our power supply to your community now, and into the future.

It may take time to achieve regulation clearance levels, but once this happens we expect you’ll have fewer vegetation-related power outages!