ARTICLE | Composite Poles Meet Tough Challenges

Submitted by RS Technologies Inc. on Fri, 11/12/2021 - 13:29

The service territory of Dixie-Escalante Electric Cooperative in Beryl, Utah, spans some of the most rugged and beautiful scenery in the west. But the hilly, rocky, high-desert terrain poses plenty of access and climate-related difficulties for a co-op building a new transmission line – especially when regulatory requirements imposed by federal and state land trusts, fish and wildlife agencies, and archaeological authorities are factored in.

As the co-op planned a 30-mile transmission project, an economical solution arrived courtesy of HD Supply Utilities, which proposed installing new RS composite poles rather than steel towers. While Colin Jack, Dixie-Escalante Electric engineering chief, admits strength and durability of the structures were serious concerns, visits to HD Supply Utilities’ factory and two sites where the poles had been placed in service laid his worries to rest.

“HD Supply even came up with an answer for locations along the route where heavier loads were an issue by doubling the poles installed – simply placing one module inside another,” Jack comments.

RS poles boast advanced ultraviolet protection that can’t be scratched or flaked away and remain impervious to pests, rot, and corrosion. They also weigh about half as much as comparable steel poles, allowing Dixie-Excalante Electric to employ its existing equipment for the project.

“The poles make line construction faster and easier while minimizing environmental impacts,” Jack concludes. “And the pole itself offers some insulating benefit.”

Contact: Anna McPherson, HD Supply Utilities, 407-893-9105, hdsupply.com/utilities; or Colin Jack, Dixie-Escalante Electric Cooperative, 435-673-3297.