The installation of new power lines connecting the Highlands Substation to the Merritt Substation. Done by helicopter.
Existing lines on the right, new lines to be threaded onto the left.
Existing power lines were live during the operation, which only added to the risk factors involved in such a project.
Looking up the hill towards Merritt. Helicopters were required due to the terrain being unsuitable for more traditional installation methods.
The helicopter would 'pull' a line between towers, and thread the line onto each of 3 lines.
Some sections proved more difficult, as the helicopter had to get very close to the live power lines. Weather conditions were perfect.
Looking down on the valley at the unassuming cows
After re-fueling, the helicopter picked up a 'needle' that was needed to thread the line through the middle section of each tower.
At this point, the needle was attached to the middle section, then the pulling cable was unhooked, as the helicopter had to maneuver to the opposite side, re-attach the hook, and then pull the needle through.
Hooked on and ready to pull through.
Continuing up the hill to install the middle line, hooking and pulling through each tower.
Assistance from ground crews. As a safety measure, I was permitted only within 100m of the lines.
The 1st (blue) and 2nd (red) lines installed. These were actually a special kind of rope, that later on would have the actual wires pulled along to finish installation.
The base of this section.
View of Highlands Station
The 'H' tower is where the power lines would eventually connect to.