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Chatty Belle - The World's Largest Talking Cow

Monday, December 7th, 2009 -- 11:54 am
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director

Folks in the Chili area shouldn’t be alarmed if they see low-flying helicopters next week.

Xcel Energy is installing swan flight diverters. Work on the Chili line will begin Monday, Dec. 14. The work will be performed during daylight hours, Monday through Sunday, by a subcontractor working on behalf of Xcel Energy.

The swan flight diverters are yellow plastic spirals, fastened onto the shield wires, which increases visibility of the transmission lines to reduce bird collisions. A helicopter is used to install the flight diverters.

Xcel Energy’s Avian Protection Plans identified the locations for marking and were then submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its review and comment. Consultants evaluated the transmission lines with respect to wetland areas, migration patterns and known nesting areas, among other criteria, and created line marking recommendations, mapped the locations and prioritized the locations.

Xcel Energy plans to install nearly 3,400 swan flight diverters this year in Wisconsin and Minnesota on nine different transmission lines.

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