The Maclean flying fox colony caused a high voltage line to trip on Tuesday night, leaving 10,000 Country Energy users in the Lower Clarence without power for up to three hours.
The Maclean flying fox colony caused a high voltage line to trip on Tuesday night, leaving 10,000 Country Energy users in the Lower Clarence without power for up to three hours.

Bats diverted from powerlines

COUNTRY Energy will install diverters today on a 200 metre-long section of the high voltage powerlines that supply the Lower Clarence in an effort to deter bats from flying near the lines or roosting on them.

Last week the bats from the Maclean colony caused a power supply interruption to about 10,000 Country Energy customers when they came between two energised 66,000 volt lines, causing them to arc and trip.

“It’s an unusual problem and it may require an unconventional solution,” Far North Coast regional general manager Richard Wake said.

“As far as I’m aware, this is the first time the bats have actually roosted on this line.

“We think it will be worthwhile trialling the diverters, which are usually used to keep birds away from powerlines, as a preventative measure,” he said.

The diverters, which are large, orange plastic discs that swing in the breeze, will be installed along the section of line immediately to the east of the Maclean bridge, where last week’s interruption occurred.

Installation of the diverters will take place near the intersection of Cameron and Harwood streets, Maclean.

It is anticipated work will start about 8.30am and should be completed within two hours.

“We’ll use a specialist ‘live line’ crew to enable us to keep the power on while we’re carrying out the work and avoid inconveniencing our customers,” Mr Wake said



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