Area residents need not be alarmed if they see low-flying helicopters hovering around Tampa Electric transmission lines this month. It’s part of a project to build a digital model of the company’s transmission equipment and evaluate its health so Tampa Electric can provide the highest levels of reliability.

Beginning Monday, a low-flying helicopter will conduct aerial scans of 100 miles of Tampa Electric high-voltage power lines. A helicopter will fly between 30-300 feet above the lines and poles while workers scan equipment using infrared technology or traditional cameras. Crews will scan Tampa Electric’s lines generally along Interstate 75, plus a portion of South Hillsborough County into Polk County. The helicopter will make several passes along each line.

Work will begin on Monday and will continue for about two weeks on weekdays during daylight hours. The survey will be complete by Sunday, March 10, weather permitting. Siemens Energy is doing the scan, with Helicopter Express of Chamblee, Georgia, flying. The scans are taking place along Tampa Electric’s urban and rural rights of way. Some inspections will take place within view of area roads and neighborhoods. Local law enforcement officials will be notified.

Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves more than 840,000 customers in West Central Florida. Tampa Electric is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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