Power and Water has worked to minimise interruptions to powerlines in the Top End, with fruit bats becoming caught in high voltage power distribution equipment and causing service disruptions.
The main cause for the disruptions is bats breaking tree limbs that hit overhead powerlines. They can also hit the lines with their wings when perched.
Power and Water has upgraded insulators on overhead powerlines and replaced them with longer post-top insulators that provide greater clearance to birds and animals. In affected areas, specifically designed mesh mats have also been installed, which prove effective against smaller fruit bats.
The disruptions have mainly occurred in Dundee and Bynoe, while the animals are nesting in the area.
Fruit bats are common visitors to these areas annually when native plants are in flower and then move on once their food source runs out.