The Illuminating Company Completes $3 Million Tree-Trimming Project to Help Minimize Weather-Related Power Outages in Cleveland
CLEVELAND, Sept. 14, 2022 -- The Illuminating Company, a FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) subsidiary, has completed a complex $3 million tree-trimming project along nearly 100 power lines in the City of Cleveland to help enhance electric service reliability for more than 25,000 customers during the upcoming winter storm season.
Among the tree-trimming work recently completed is a $1.2 million project to clear overgrown trees and debris along power lines in the Glenville neighborhood on Cleveland's east side. The vegetation in this area has historically been one of the hardest areas to maintain across FirstEnergy's entire six-state service area because nearly all the company's power lines and electrical equipment run through the backyards of residents' homes and businesses, making it difficult to access with a truck and tree-trimming equipment. The project required a great deal of coordination between FirstEnergy's utility operations and the local community.
This work builds on The Illuminating Company's $16.5 million investment in tree trimming efforts across its entire service area this year. On the ground, contractors have trimmed trees along more than 1,500 miles of power lines across the company's service area since the beginning of the year. The program remains on track to complete an additional 500 miles of tree-trimming work by the end of the year. Similar work is performed annually by FirstEnergy transmission companies along high-voltage power lines in the company's service territory.
"Maintaining vegetation along power lines is the first line of defense in preventing tree-related power outages during severe weather and minimizing the impact if they do occur," said Virginia Bowman, manager of forestry operations for FirstEnergy's Cleveland region. "This work helps maximize the benefits of the vast upgrades we've made throughout our northeast Ohio service area."
Tree trimming is completed on a four-year cycle within FirstEnergy's service area. The work includes inspecting vegetation near power lines to ensure trees are pruned to preserve the health of the tree while also maintaining safe clearances around the lines and equipment. Trees that present a danger or are diseased may be removed to prevent them from creating a safety hazard or service disruption.
Beyond the vegetation work recently completed in the City of Cleveland, proactive equipment inspections have been completed along nearly 100 power lines serving about 30,000 local residents and businesses. In addition to inspecting and maintaining equipment in the area, The Illuminating Company has installed new automated equipment and technology along local power lines and within substations to help reduce many service disruptions to just a momentary outage.
The Illuminating Company serves 755,000 customers across Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties. Connect with The Illuminating Company at www.illuminatingcompany.com, on Twitter @IlluminatingCo and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IlluminatingCo.
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 systems, 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. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter: @FirstEnergyCorp.
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