MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Residents of Northeast Minneapolis shouldn’t be alarmed if they notice helicopters in the sky Tuesday morning.

Xcel Energy is completing the upgrade to its transmission lines by installing bird diverters and new airline marker balls. They planned to do install them Tuesday, but delayed the installment due to weather.

Earlier in the month, Xcel Energy announced it was upgrading its transmission lines to help provide more reliable electricity to its customers. They did so using helicopters. The upgrade included adding a network shield wire that helps operators identify problems quicker, including locations of outages.

The final steps of the upgrade include helping to protect Minnesota’s wild life.

Bird diverters and the airline markers will help prevent birds from contacting transmission lines and being injured in migratory flyways along the Mississippi River. Xcel Energy will use helicopters once again.

Xcel Energy said helicopters are being used because they are more efficient and safe.


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