FAIRMONT, W. Virginia, June 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Mon Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), continues to conduct tree trimming work in communities across its service area in West Virginia as part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance service reliability. 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 in recent months.
Since the beginning of the year, tree contractors have trimmed along more than 2,900 miles of distribution and transmission lines in the Mon Power service area as part of the company's $68 million vegetation management program for 2020. Mon Power expects to complete an additional 2,700 miles of work by year end.
Mon Power's tree program includes about $2.5 million to proactively remove more than 25,000 deteriorated ash trees damaged by the Emerald Ash Borer along larger distribution lines and lines located near electric substations. Year to date, almost 10,000 ash trees have been removed.
"Over the past five years, we implemented an aggressive vegetation management plan to clear existing rights-of-way from the substation to the final customer, which reduced the risk of overhanging limbs getting into electrical equipment and causing outages," said Jim Myers, president of FirstEnergy's West Virginia Operations. "Now, our goal is to focus our efforts on removing trees outside the right-of-way, in particular damaged ash trees, before they negatively affect customer service."
Mon Power will be conducting tree trimming work in the following counties and communities throughout the year:
As part of its notification process, Mon 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.
Tree trimming is done on a four-year cycle in West Virginia. Vegetation is inspected, and trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree, while also maintaining safety near electric facilities. In some cases, trees that are considered to present a danger or are diseased may be removed. Clearing incompatible vegetation under power lines results in easier access for company personnel to inspect and maintain lines and make repairs sooner if an outage occurs.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to 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. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
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.
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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.