Dominion Energy Installs Osprey Platforms Across Currituck Sound
From Dominion Energy Press Release
– Effort will increase nesting sites from three to 12
– Helicopter used to attach new platforms on abandoned transmission towers
When the ospreys nesting alongside the Wright Brothers Memorial Bridge over Currituck Sound return next spring, they are going to find new, high-rise luxury nesting platforms, courtesy of Dominion Energy North Carolina.
The ospreys have been nesting on wooden platforms fixed to transmission towers Dominion Energy abandoned more than 30 years ago. Originally, there were 12 nesting platforms but the elements — wind, rain, hurricanes — have taken their toll and only three platforms remain.
The energy company’s transmission group on Tuesday used a helicopter to remove the few remaining wooden platforms and installed larger, stronger, more durable aluminum alloy platforms over every pole.
Ospreys like to build their nests of jumbled branches on tall structures overlooking the water. The company’s transmission towers are favorite spots for the birds of prey. Unfortunately, the birds’ attraction to the towers leads to power outage for Dominion Energy customers.
By providing the new platforms, the company is ensuring the ospreys have a safe, durable home and that electric service to the Outer Banks is not disrupted by their nesting activities.
“This is really about safety and reliable service,” said Carter Clevinger, project manager-Electric Transmission Reliability. “Safety for the osprey because if they build on our energized transmission towers, they run the risk of electrocution; and safety and reliability for our customers by preventing massive power outages on the Outer Banks that could occur if nesting materials contact our lines.”
The transmission group tested the aluminum platforms on a pair of osprey nesting on a transmission support pole near Clarksville last spring. The birds took to the new metal roost so well that the company is using them exclusively now.
“The 12 poles across Currituck Sound are the largest use so far of the platforms and the first time we have used helicopters to install them,” Clevinger said.
The helicopters approached the transmission towers towing two workers on a 75-foot tether. The helicopter then lowered them onto the tower where they attached the new nesting platform.
The platforms made by Preformed Line Products weigh 34 pounds and are three-foot square.
Dominion Energy (NYSE: D) is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 25,600 megawatts of generation, 15,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,600 miles of electric transmission lines.