They come unannounced. Some may be looking for shelter; others are looking for a meal. They make their way through fences and mazes of equipment, unaware of the potential danger that exists within an electric substation.
When birds, snakes, raccoons, squirrels and other wildlife come into contact with energized and grounded parts of the electric system, they put their lives at risk and cause power outages and costly repairs — as experienced at the East Manhattan Substation, 921 Levee Drive, where birds caused several blackouts over the summer.
Westar is beefing up its animal protection measures at substations more prone to wildlife getting in the equipemnt to help keep customers’ lights on, protect equipment and help keep animals safe from danger.
Work began last week to install Greenjacket covers at the East Manhattan substation.
The dark green covers are designed to precisely fit each piece of equipment, providing a better shield for the equipment and reducing the likelihood of animals getting in the works.
Metal guards help keep critters out and protect the pieces of equipment. However, in some cases, the guards do not provide enough cover.
Special fencing is used to cover the lower portion of some substation fences preventing snakes from slithering through the holes in the fence. Even with these precautions, animal-related power outs may still occur.