Sep 2019
Electricity Distribution
Wildlife Protection
WPD_NIA_044
Live
Sep 2019
Jan 2022
Western Power Distribution, Eastern Power Networks, Electricity North West Limited, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution, South Eastern Power Distribution, Southern Electric Power Distribution, SP Distribution and SP Manweb
Mike Chapman / Sam Rossi Ashton
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Network Innovation Allowance
ED - Safety and health and environment
Asset Management, Conductors, Environmental and Overhead Lines
£326,061.00
Contact between overhead (OH) lines and wildlife causes considerable disruption to electricity supplies, damage to plant and apparatus resulting in costly repairs as well as causing death or injury to the wildlife making contact.

From figures obtained from the National Fault and Interruptions Reporting Scheme (NAFIRS) and WPD systems it is estimated (pro rata) that it is costing the UK distribution and transmission companies in excess of £10M per annum in terms of the Customer Minutes Lost (CMLs) and Customer Interruptions (CIs) and to carry out repairs. These contacts also cause thousands of wildlife deaths through electrocution or collision.

The scope of the project is to carry out research on the interaction of wildlife with OH lines / structures in order to design, develop and produce a suite of UK and Ireland specific mitigation measures and a risk assessment (RA) Software App which will provide member companies / end users with guidance on the most cost-effective way of minimising wildlife contact.
  1. Understand how wildlife behaves and interacts with overhead lines so as to determine those environments where lines, structures, equipment and configurations are most susceptible to inadvertent wildlife contact.
  2. Design, develop and produce a set of detailed mitigation measures to mitigate the risk of wildlife interaction with Electricity Overhead Networks. 
  3. Identify where materials, plant and equipment could be redesigned or modified cost effectively to make them less susceptible to contact flashover.
  4. Develop a Risk Assessment Software App to assist in identifying the current risk and the resultant risk once specified mitigation measures have been put in place.
  5. Provision of guidance documents on carrying out a Risk Assessment, specification and purchase of appropriate mitigation measures,
Conservative estimates suggested that the UK distribution companies experience 1000s of wildlife contacts that damage equipment at a cost of over of £10M per annum. If successful and implemented by member companies it is estimated that UK distribution companies could save in the region of £5M to £8M per annum.