Xcel Energy: To inspect transmission lines by helicopter

Contact:(715) 737-2565 – Media Line, www.xcelenergy.com

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – Beginning Monday, April 2, and continuing through mid
June residents in northwestern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula may notice a
helicopter flying over some neighborhoods and rural locations as Xcel Energy inspects its
electric transmission lines.

Xcel Energy’s transmission lines in Wisconsin and Michigan extend east from the
border of Minnesota to the Eau Claire area and north from La Crosse to Ironwood,

The helicopter flights enable crews to look for defects or loose fittings. Trouble
spots that could cause power outages will be identified and later repaired.

“These inspections give us a ‘birds-eye’ view of the transmission system and allow
us to fix potential problems before they occur,” said Kyle Neidermire, Xcel Energy’s
supervisor of Field Operations. “The patrols and the associated maintenance are
important to continue to provide reliable electric service to our customers.”

The patrols will take place during daylight hours, and the helicopter will fly within
50 feet of the lines or hover near a transmission structure if something needs a closer
look. Typically, the flights are conducted at speeds of 30 to 45 miles per hour.

Data collected will help Xcel Energy reduce the number of equipment-related
outages on its transmission lines. Xcel Energy maintains more than 2,400 miles of
transmission lines in Wisconsin and Michigan.