TAYLOR COUNTY—Springtime is here and it’s the season of sprucing up. To help ensure that residents are equipped with reliable power service, Mon Power has begun their 2022 Tree-Trimming Program.
During the initiative, Mon Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy, personnel 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-Trimming Program is being conducted by certified forestry experts under the company’s direction. Companies being utilized 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 severe weather,” explained Will Boye, Advance Communications Representative for Mon Power’s West Virginia operations.
He shared that by clearing the area of unwanted vegetation, should an issue arise, power crews would better be able to access lines. It also helps personnel to be better able to inspect and maintain lines.
“Vegetation management is crucial to our reliability efforts and one of the most effective ways we can reduce the impact of tree related service interruptions for our customers,” said Jim Myers, president of West Virginia operations for FirstEnergy.
Through the $58 million program, trees are inspected and pruned in a manner that helps to preserve the health of the tree, while maintaining safety near electric facilities, according to a release from the company.
When workers come across trees that are diseased or dead, they are removed to prevent any disruption in power supply to customers.
Such is the case when personnel come across deteriorated ash trees that have succumbed to the Emerald Ash Borer, along larger distribution lines and lines near substations.
“Since the start of the program, 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 that time, Mon Power has worked to clear vegetation along more than 31,000 miles of power lines. In addition, within their 34-county service territory, they have trimmed more than 3.7 million trees.
In addition, Mon Power will also be working to remove vegetation along 363 miles of the company’s high-voltage transmission power lines, as part of a $10.5 million project.
“As a result of these efforts, total customer outage minutes have dropped by more than 40% since the first full year of the program in 2015, including during major storm events,” reported Boye.
Locally work is underway in Taylor County and will be completed in the Grafton, Blueville, Knottsville and Pruntytown communities.
Mon Power works with municipalities to inform them of tree-trimming schedules, and customers living in areas along company rights-of-way are notified prior to vegetation management work being done.
Mon 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/MonPowerWV.
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 and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.