Company will trim along nearly 5,200 miles of power lines in West Virginia this year
FAIRMONT, W.Va., May 3, 2022 — Mon Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), has begun its 2022 tree-trimming program and will clear vegetation around nearly 5,200 miles of power lines as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance service reliability for West Virginia customers.
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. Clearing incompatible vegetation under power lines also results in easier access for company personnel to inspect and maintain lines and make repairs faster if an outage occurs.
Since the launch of the tree-trimming program in April 2014, Mon Power has cleared vegetation along more than 31,000 miles of power lines and has trimmed more than 3.7 million trees across its 34-county service territory. 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.
“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.
As part of Mon Power’s $58 million program, trees are inspected and pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree while maintaining safety near electric facilities. In some cases, trees that are diseased or pose a threat to power lines or equipment may be removed. Similar work will be conducted along 363 miles of the company’s high-voltage transmission power lines as part of a $10.5 million program.
Mon Power’s program also includes the removal of deteriorated ash trees damaged by 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.
Mon Power will be conducting tree-trimming work in the following counties and communities this year:
- Braxton: Heaters, Servia, Sutton
- Brooke: Beech Bottom, Bethany, Weirton, Wellsburg, Windsor Heights
- Calhoun: Grantsville
- Clay: Clay, Widen
- Greenbrier: Fairlea, Lewisburg, Ronceverte, White Sulphur Springs
- Hancock: Chester, New Cumberland
- Harrison: Bridgeport, Lost Creek
- Marion: Barrackville, Fairview, Farmington, Idamay, Mannington
- Monongalia: Brookhaven, Dellslow, Granville, Morgantown, Osage, Wadestown, Wana
- Monroe: Union
- Nicholas: Birch River, Fenwick, Leivasy, Lockwood, Nettie, Richwood
- Pendleton: Franklin, Sugar Grove, Upper Tract
- Pocahontas: Slaty Fork, Snowshoe
- Preston: Albright, Bruceton Mills, Fellowsville, Terra Alta
- Randolph: Elkins, Gilman, Huttonsville, Kerens, Montrose
- Ritchie: Smithville
- Summers: Hinton, Lowell, Pence Springs
- Taylor: Blueville, Grafton, Knottsville, Pruntytown
- Tucker: Davis, Parsons, St. George
- Upshur: Buckhannon
- Webster: Webster Springs
- Wetzel: Jacksonburg, New Martinsville, Pine Grove, Porters Falls, Reader
- Wood: Deerwalk, Larkmead, Lubeck, Parkersburg, Washington, Waverly, Williamstown
The vegetation management work is conducted by certified forestry experts under the company’s direction, including Asplundh Tree Expert, GF Tree Service, Hazlett Tree Service, Penn Line, The Energy Group, Townsend and UAL.
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.
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.
Editor’s Note: Photos of utility personnel trimming 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.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.