TAYLOR COUNTY—Spring is here and it’s renovation season. To help ensure residents have reliable power service, Mon Power has launched its 2022 Tree Trimming Program.
During the initiative, Mon Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy, staff will work to clear the area of nearly 5,200 miles of power lines of vegetation that could become problematic for the entity and the customers it serves.
Vegetation management through the tree pruning program is conducted by certified forestry experts under the direction of the company. Companies used include Asplundh Tree Expert, GF Tree Service, Hazlett Tree Service, Penn Line, The Energy Group, Townsend and UAL.
“Maintaining proper clearances and removing dead or diseased trees around electrical equipment can help reduce the frequency and duration of power outages, especially those associated with inclement weather,” explained Will Boye, Forward Communications Representative for Operations. of Mon Power in West Virginia.
He shared that by clearing the area of unwanted vegetation, in the event of a problem, power crews would be better able to access the lines. It also helps staff to be better able to inspect and maintain the lines.
“Vegetation management is critical to our reliability efforts and one of the most effective ways to reduce the impact of tree-related outages for our customers,” said Jim Myers, president of operations at Virginia- Western for FirstEnergy.
Through the $58 million program, trees are inspected and trimmed in a way that helps maintain the health of the tree, while maintaining safety near electrical installations, according to a company statement.
When workers encounter diseased or dead trees, they are removed to avoid any interruption of power to customers.
This is the case when staff encounter deteriorated ash trees that have succumbed to the emerald ash borer, along major distribution lines and lines near substations.
“Since the program began, Mon Power has removed more than 110,000 damaged ash trees identified as potential hazards,” Boye revealed.
The initiative began in April 2014, and since then Mon Power has worked to clear vegetation along more than 31,000 miles of power lines. Additionally, in their 34-county service area, they have trimmed more than 3.7 million trees.
In addition, Mon Power will also work to clear vegetation along 363 miles of the company’s high-voltage transmission power lines, as part of a $10.5 million project.
“Because of these efforts, total customer minutes of downtime have dropped more than 40% since the program’s first full year in 2015, including during major storms,” Boye said.
Local work is underway in Taylor County and will be completed in the communities of Grafton, Blueville, Knottsville and Pruntytown.
Mon Power works with municipalities to inform them of tree trimming schedules, and customers living in areas along company rights-of-way are notified before any vegetation management work is carried out.
My Power serves nearly 395,000 customers in 34 West Virginia counties.
Follow Mon Power at www.mon-power.com, on Twitter @MonPowerWV and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MyPowerWV.
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 grids, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York.
The Company’s transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.