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FirstEnergy Developing Pollinator Habitat Along Pennsylvania Transmission Line

July 17, 2023
FirstEnergy plans to develop 225 acres of pollinator habitat across its service territory by 2025.

FirstEnergy has seeded about three acres of right of way on a 115-kilovolt transmission line between the East Towanda and North Meshoppen substations in Bradford and Susquehanna counties with a native seed mix to establish pollinator-friendly habitat in an effort to build a strong electric grid in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Currently, FirstEnergy’s subsidiary Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission (MAIT) is upgrading the 20-mile segment, expected to be operational by the end of 2023.  MAIT is also replacing wooden poles with steel monopoles and installing new, larger wires to handle additional demand.

"By integrating a native seed mix into transmission projects such as this one, we can enhance service reliability for our customers while also demonstrating our commitment to reduce our impact on the environment and support the creation of pollinator habitats across our service territory," said Michael Haines, a FirstEnergy supervisor of Transmission Construction Vegetation Management who is leading this effort.

In early 2023, the company seeded 16 acres within a transmission right of way in Adams County, Pennsylvania, and plans to seed an additional 10 acres at a transmission line right of way in Lebanon County later in 2023.

According to Pollinator Partnership, an organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems, many pollinator populations have reduced due to a loss in feeding and nesting habitats.

FirstEnergy plans to develop 225 acres of pollinator habitat across its service territory by 2025, including the creation of new habitat in transmission right of ways, at its electric substation properties and at parks and nature preserves. The company has expanded the initiative within its service territory after a flowering vegetation pilot program in 2020 and will exceed 200 pollinator-friendly acres by the end of 2023.

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