Mon Power’s 2019 Tree Trimming Program UnderwayWork Includes More than 5,100 Miles of Lines
FAIRMONT, W.Va., April 22, 2019 -- 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.
The 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 numerous storms experienced this past winter.
This year, tree contractors will be trimming, clearing, and controlling the vegetation on more than 5,100 miles of distribution and transmission lines in the Mon Power area as part of the company's approximately $71 million vegetation management program for 2019.
This year marks the fifth year of an enhanced right of way clearing program that focuses on trimming and removing trees near distribution lines in rural areas and along transmission lines to enhance service reliability. The enhanced program involves trimming and removing trees ground to sky, which helps reduce the risk of overhanging limbs getting into electrical equipment and causing outages.
Mon Power's tree program also includes about $2 million to proactively remove more than 7,000 deteriorated ash trees killed or damaged by the Emerald Ash Borer along larger distribution lines and lines located near electric substations.
"Over the past four years, our enhanced vegetation management program has resulted in fewer tree-related outages," said Holly Kauffman, president of FirstEnergy's West Virginia Operations. "Also, as a result of the program, our customers are experiencing about a 35 percent reduction in the duration of tree-related outages the year after we perform work in their area."
Mon Power will conduct tree trimming and clearing of rights of way in or near the following counties and communities before the end of the year:
- Braxton: Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton
- Brooke: Bethany, Weirton, Wellsburg
- Calhoun: Arnoldsburg, Grantsville
- Grant: Mt. Storm
- Gilmer: Glenville
- Greenbrier: Lewisburg, Renick, Ronceverte
- Hancock: Chester, New Cumberland, New Manchester, Weirton
- Harrison: Enterprise, Stonewood
- Jackson: Medina, Rockport, Sandyville
- Lewis: Weston
- Marion: Boothsville, Fairmont (West Side), Mannington, Monongah, Whitehall, Worthington
- Monongalia: Blacksville, Morgantown-South
- Monroe: Union
- Nicholas: Craigsville
- Pendleton: Franklin, Brandywine
- Pleasants: Belmont, Eureka, Schultz, St. Mary's
- Pocahontas: Slatyfork, Snowshoe, Marlinton, Edray, Huntersville
- Preston: Aurora, Terra Alta
- Randolph: Elkins, Beverly, Dailey, Norton, Coalton
- Ritchie: Auburn, Berea, Harrisville, Pennsboro, Pullman
- Roane: Reedy, Spencer, Gandeeville
- Tucker: Parsons, Hendricks, Saint George
- Tyler: Alma, Bens Run, Blue, Friendly, Middlebourne, Paden City, Shirley, Sistersville
- Upshur: Buckhannon, Rock Cave
- Wirt: Brohard, Creston, Elizabeth, Palestine
- Wood: Pettyville, Mineral Wells, Slate
- Webster: Hackers Valley
- Wetzel: New Martinsville
As part of program, vegetation on electric rights of way has been maintained on a five-year cycle in the Mon Power area. Going forward, the rights of way will be maintained on a four-year cycle to further improve reliability for customers. Forestry crews use hand-operated tools, saws, mowers, aerial helicopter saws and EPA-approved herbicide applications to trim trees and control vegetation along Mon Power's distribution and transmission lines. 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 more than 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.
CONTACT: News Media Contact: Jeffrey Straight, (724) 838-6463