ERIE, Pa., April 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Penelec, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), continues to conduct tree trimming work in communities across its Pennsylvania service areas as part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance electric service reliability.
Maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment can help reduce the frequency and duration of tree-related power outages, especially those associated with severe weather such as spring and summer thunderstorms.
Since the beginning of the year, tree contractors have trimmed along about 1,000 miles of distribution and transmission lines in the Penelec area as part of the company's $39.4 million vegetation management program for 2021. Penelec's program remains on track to complete an additional 3,200 miles of work by year end.
The program includes inspecting vegetation near the lines to ensure trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree, while also maintaining safety near electric facilities. Trees that present a danger or are diseased also may be removed.
"Penelec is committed to enhancing customer service reliability, and our vegetation management program is one of the most important things we do every year to help maintain our electric system and restore power quickly after storms," said Nick Austin, regional president, Penelec. "Our tree trimming continues to make a positive difference in keeping the lights on for our customers. In 2020, the number of tree-caused outages fell 3% compared to 2019."
The company has also completed its five-year program to proactively remove more than 200,000 dead and drying ash trees impacted by the Emerald Ash Borer along 18,000 miles of power line rights-of-way.
Penelec is scheduled in 2021 to trim trees along transmission lines and distribution circuits in the following counties and areas:
Bedford – Bedford
Blair – Altoona, Roaring Spring
Bradford – Columbia Cross Roads, Grover, New Albany, Wyalusing
Cambria – Fallentimber, Johnstown
Clarion County – Knox
Clearfield – Beccaria, Dubois, Madera
Columbia – Benton
Crawford – Cochranton, Meadville, Titusville
Cumberland – Shippensburg
Erie – Corry, Edinboro, Erie, Fairview Township, Lake City, North East, Union City, Wesleyville
Forest – Marienville
Franklin – Fannetsburg, Roxbury, Shippensburg
Huntingdon – Alexandria, Huntingdon, Petersburg
Indiana – Blairsville, Glen Campbell, Indiana
Jefferson – Brockway, Brookville, Punxsutawney, Summerville
As part of its notification process, Penelec works with municipalities to inform them of tree trimming schedules. In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way are notified prior to vegetation management work being done.
The vegetation management work is conducted by qualified line clearance arborists, including Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Davey Tree Expert Company, Penn Line Service, Hazlett Tree Service, Townsend Tree Service, Lewis Tree Service, and Treesmiths.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Visit FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
Editor's Note: Photos of workers using bucket trucks to trim trees near FirstEnergy power lines are available for download on Flickr. A video explaining FirstEnergy's vegetation management techniques can also be found on YouTube.