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IDGC of Centre is performing additional volume of expansion and clearing of ROWs along power lines

14 December 2012

In 2012, in order to ensure reliable power supply IDGC of Centre is implementing an ambitious program to clear and expand ROWs along overhead power lines.

This work is one of the priorities of the energy company. A significant portion of overhead power lines, serviced by branches of IDGC of Centre, passes through woodland. Falling trees on the wires can cause irregularities in the operation of electric grid equipment. The reliability of electricity supply depends on the quality and amount of work to expand and clear.

In the current year, compared to last year the company has already completed an unprecedented amount of work: at the annual plan in the amount of 12,044 hectares the company’s specialists have cleared more than 12,400 hectares of land; with the expansion plan of ROWs along 35-110 kV overhead power lines in the amount of 2,764 hectares they have made work in the territory of about 3,000 hectares, which is more than 20% higher than last year.

In addition to the planned scope of clearing and expansion, which was completed by 15 October, the power engineers of IDGC of Centre had undertaken to perform the additional volume: up to the end of this year about 300 additional hectares of ROWs along 35-110 kV overhead power lines will be cleared and in the territory of more than 190 hectares they will be expanded.

“The importance of the efforts to expand the ROWs along the power lines was demonstrated by the winter of 2010, accompanied with the ‘freezing rain’- stresses Deputy General Director for Technical Issues — Chief Engineer of IDGC of Centre Sergey Shumakher. — The analysis of technological failures showed that the main cause of power failure in the regions, affected by natural anomaly, was not so much the formation of an ice layer on the wires, but the trees falling on power lines. We made conclusions from this. A long-term schedule was drawn up to expand ROWs through 2014, according to which we need to protect all the backbone transmission lines, critical infrastructure facilities, oil and gas processing and railway facilities, and traction transits from falling trees.”

Despite the rather severe weather conditions that are going along the first month of the autumn and winter period, the work continues to expand the ROWs. To do this, all the branches are using the most modern technology: a tractor Treemme MM180B with a mulcher MidiForst DT200. The vehicle is designed for chopping wood and brushes on the root. Thus, in the process of clearing ROWs under power line facilities there is no need to remove felling residues, which are processed into chips.

Since the autumn of 2012 a new high-performance timber cutting vehicle “John Deere” has been used to extend ROWs along high-voltage power lines. Power and performance of the harvester allows to work with the biggest trees. It is perfectly balanced to move along hard terrain, which is characteristic for some parts of ROWS along power lines being extended by the branch. Using the vehicle allows to avoid having to disconnect customers during the work performance. The new harvester has a high technical availability. The work is being done around the clock in two shifts.

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