For five months IDGC of Centre — Belgorodenergo division completed work on clearing and expansion of 200 hectares of ROWs along power lines. Within the year’s scale, it is planned to bring this figure up to 1,000 hectares.
Clearing ROWs along power line off tree and shrub seedlings during the repair campaign is one of the main activities of Belgorodenergo. Uninterrupted electricity supply to consumers depends on the amount and quality of clearing, as branches and trees falling on wires of overhead power lines during storms and hurricanes are one of the main causes of power supply interruptions for consumers.
In order to improve reliability of power supply starting from last year, in addition to clearing the branch performs work to expand ROWs along power line in accordance with the standards of exclusion zones defined by RF Government Decree of February 24, 2009 № 160. According to the document the exclusion zone is established along overhead power lines in the form of a land plot and air space bounded by vertical planes spaced on both sides of the line from the outer wires. For an overhead line up to 1 kV the exclusion zone is defined at a distance of 2 m, for the overhead from 1 to 20 kV — at a distance of 10 m, for 35 kV conductors — 15 m.
Belgorodenergo performs clearing and expansion using both contractors and its own resources as well as with mechanical means and mulchers. For example, a wheel tractor equipped with a front-chopper, provides complete vegetation grinding into chips, which do not need to be removed and disposed of. This reduces the amount of manual labour, improves productivity, and significantly increases the area and amount of clearance.
The advanced mulching technology is even more advantageous from the standpoint of environmental and fire safety and cost-effectiveness. The mulching method allows not only to cut vegetation, but simultaneously then to grind it, partly mixing wood chips with the soil. With the help of modern machinery power engineers achieve practically complete grinding plants and solving the problem of their disposal.
For the third year in a row ordinary citizens are involved on a contractual basis to clear ROWs along overhead lines and to remove ground wood. In May and June, for example, more than six thousand spans at 514 power lines were cleared with the help of volunteers. For the recent years more than 280 hectares have been cleared this way.
To perform the work to clear and expand ROWs along power lines it is necessary temporarily, according to a previously approved schedule, to limit supply of electricity to consumers. Work on a deenergized power line is performed as soon as possible with the assistance of the required number of personnel and special machinery.