Fe Tree Trimming 3

Penn Power Invests US$9 Million in Tree-Trimming Work

May 12, 2022
Work includes trimming trees along 1120 miles of power lines in 2022 to help minimize impact of severe weather.

Penn Power, a FirstEnergy Corp. electric company, is conducting tree trimming and other vegetation management work in communities across its western Pennsylvania service area to help enhance service reliability for customers. This year’s US$ 9 million tree-trimming program will help keep power flowing to customers by helping to prevent tree-related outages, such as those that can occur during the spring and summer storm season.

Since the beginning of the year, contractors have trimmed trees along more than 250 miles of power lines across Penn Power’s service area. The program remains on track to complete an additional 800 miles of tree-trimming work by the end of the year. Similar work is performed annually by FirstEnergy transmission companies along high-voltage power lines in the company’s service territory.

Tree trimming is done on a four-year cycle. The program includes inspecting vegetation near the lines to ensure the 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 may be removed.

“Trees are a leading cause of power outages, and we complete proactive tree-trimming work each year to help prevent tree-related outages during severe weather,” said Scott Wyman, president of FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania operations. “This work, paired with the vast upgrades we’re making to our local power system, undoubtedly helps minimize the impact of weather-related outages to keep power flowing safely and reliably to customers.”

 As part of its notification process, Penn Power 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 certified forestry experts under the company’s direction, including Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Davey Tree Expert Company, Nelson Tree Service Inc., Penn Line Service, Townsend Tree Service and Wright Tree Service.

In the air, helicopters equipped with aerial saws began trimming trees in April to maintain proper clearances along hard-to-access transmission and distribution corridors throughout Penn Power’s service area. The aerial saw is typically deployed along transmission and distribution lines in areas that may be environmentally sensitive or inaccessible to bucket trucks and other vehicles. This method typically covers more area in a day than a ground crew might complete in a week. The saw also eliminates the risk of injury to workers using bucket trucks or climbing trees to cut limbs near high voltage equipment.

Penn Power is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. and serves more than 160,000 customers in all or parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Lawrence, and Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania. 

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