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National Grid to Conduct Helicopter Surveys of Overhead Lines and Equipment in Southeastern Massachusetts

Bird's-Eye View to Identify Potential Problems Before They Cause Outages

Waltham, Mass., August 2, 2010 – National Grid will take to the skies on Thursday August 5 and Friday August 6, weather permitting, to conduct patrols of some key overhead power lines in the following southeastern Massachusetts communities:

Franklin, Attleboro, Norfolk, Norton, Wrentham, Seekonk, Foxboro, Rehoboth, Mansfield, Milford, Plainville, Mendon, North Attleboro, Uxbridge, and Millville

The helicopter patrols are designed to help the company spot potential problems with equipment structures or lines so that they can be addressed before service interruptions occur.

Many of the power lines, which are major supply circuits, traverse remote areas that are difficult to access with vehicles, or on foot. The aerial view gained from a fly-over also enables crews to spot potential problems with trees or tree limbs that may be too close to lines. Tree damage can be a major cause of power outages.

Additionally, eagle-eyed inspectors conduct visual and infra-red inspections for general infrastructure wear and tear. The infra-red camera detects heat and is helpful in pinpointing

areas where equipment wear or loose connections literally create visible “hot spots.” Once problem areas are identified, crews are dispatched to make any required repairs.

“We feel that being proactive is essential to ensuring overall system reliability,” said David Fredericks, vice president of Operations for National Grid’s New England South division. “By taking a calculated approach to heading off problems on our main power lines before they occur, we are able to prevent the outages that could potentially impact thousands of customers.”

National Grid has notified police and fire departments as well as municipal officials in communities where the patrols will take place. Individuals with questions or concerns can contact National Grid’s toll-free customer service line at 1-800-322-3223.

National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.

Editor’s note:

For more information about a specific community flyover, please call National Grid’s media information line at, 508-389-2637.