A Duke Energy Progress contractor was electrocuted last month in North Carolina while installing new power lines connecting a 5-MW solar farm to the utility's grid. According to an article on Charlotte Business Journal, the crew was replacing a 40-foot power pole with a 50-foot pole. A guy wire for the new pole came in contact with the transformer of the old pole. The worker touched the guy wire and was shocked and severely burned.
The worker, employed by MasTec, died two days later at a burn center. The N.C. Department of Labor is investigating the death. Charlotte Business Journal reported that information provided to other state officials raises the possibility that the worker had not been wearing the correct insulating gloves to protect against electrical shock. It also suggests that the transformer and other equipment on the old, still-energized pole was not properly covered to prevent accidental contact.
Duke and MasTec have been working to make sure the proper procedures are in place, which has slowed some solar connection projects, particularly in eastern North Carolina.