FirstEnergy Corp. continues to conduct tree trimming work in communities across its Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power) service area in Pennsylvania. This work helps keep power flowing to customers around the clock by preventing tree-related outages.
Maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment can help reduce the frequency and duration of power outages, especially those associated with severe weather such as the storms experienced this past winter. In 2019, the company will spend nearly $9 million to trim more than 1,100 miles of electric lines across Penn Power's service area.
"Tree branches interfering with power lines is a leading cause of service disruptions in the Penn Power territory," says Edward L. Shuttleworth, who was recently named regional president of Ohio Edison and Penn Power. "Tree trimming is one of the most important things we do every year to help maintain our electric system and enhance service reliability."
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., PennLine Service, Townsend Tree Service and Wright Tree Service.
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 work taking place.
The program includes inspecting trees near the lines to ensure they're 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.