IPTO transmission towers employed as a fire protection shield in Parnitha

The Operator will install 540 fire-detecting sensors and cameras on 135 transmission towers in order to protect the forest of Parnitha

The Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) utilizes the high voltage transmission towers to protect the Parnitha forest from wildfires, by installing a “smart” early fire detection system at selected points of the electrical grid, as indicated by the Fire Brigade. 

In particular, the innovative pilot project, which is launched with the support of the Ministry for Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, envisages the installation of 540 sensors, including optical and thermal panoramic cameras on 135 transmission towers of the Operator, covering an area of tens of thousands of acres in the wider area of Parnitha.  

A state-of-the-art fire risk information processing and assessment system will collect, integrate and evaluate in real time the data from the cameras and sensors that will be placed at four different points of each transmission tower and, in the event of a fire, will transmit an emergency signal to the National Coordination Center for Operations and Crisis Management (ESKEDIK). In combination with the sensors, the optical cameras will be transmitting a live image during the day, while the thermal cameras will be alerting of an eventual source of fire at nighttime, as well. The data will be transmitted with high geographic accuracy via a LoRa network and a fourth generation (4G) mobile broadband network.

The “smart” fire detection system through sensors, which was designed by Grid Telecom, a subsidiary company of IPTO that is active in the telecommunications sector, will be self-sufficient and will be powered exclusively by solar energy.

The operation of this new system, even in its pilot phase, is expected to significantly facilitate the difficult work of fire fighters and enhance their ability to quickly and effectively intervene in new outbreaks of forest fires, as a large forest area with dense vegetation will be monitored on a 24-hour basis.

The Minister for for Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, Mr. Christos Stylianidis, said in this regard: “This important initiative of IPTO, with the support of the Ministry for Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, will make a substantial contribution to the battle we wage every day against forest fires. With the climate crisis making fires increasingly dangerous for humans and our natural environment, putting the country’s electrical infrastructure at the service of the Fire Department is an excellent practice that we must encourage and support.”

On his part, the Chairman and CEO of IPTO, Mr. Manos Manousakis, said: “IPTO utilizes its electrical network to protect forests by offering state-of-the-art solutions. We hope that the 'smart' system that we will install in Parnitha will help the Fire Brigade and Civil Protection Department in their hard work, in an area of huge environmental importance to Attica”.