If Wells Rural Electric Co. asked members to create a list of the biggest challenges to the cooperative’s ability to provide reliable electricity, birds probably would not appear near the top.
While a bird nest might not seem like a threat to your electric service, it can wreak havoc on WREC’s system reliability, particularly in the spring and early summer.
Birds frequently build nests on power poles and other equipment. When they get wet and make contact, it creates an outage situation.
WREC already has had several bird-related outages in 2017 after experiencing 18 such outages in 2016. WREC devotes considerable resources to identifying and dealing with potential hazards to ensure your power stays on.
“Bird nests are a huge challenge for crews this time of year,” says Ryan Brodsho, WREC’s manager of operations. “They really create a lot of issues with our equipment. It takes almost fulltime attention to make sure our service is as reliable as possible.”
Starting in March 2016, WREC spent approximately 1,200 hours in the field patrolling lines to identify hazards and make repairs after contract. WREC also adheres to anti-perch and raptor-proofing standards on new projects to improve reliability and keep birds away from hazardous situations.