Company to trim trees along 3,100 miles of power lines in Maryland and West Virginia
WILLIAMSPORT, Md., May 3, 2022 — Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), has kicked off its 2022 tree-trimming program with plans to clear vegetation along approximately 3,100 miles of power lines in Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia to help enhance electric service reliability for 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. In 2021, the amount of time Potomac Edison customers experienced service interruptions due to trees dropped by 20% compared to 2019. Clearing incompatible vegetation under power lines also gives company personnel easier access to inspect and maintain lines and make repairs quicker if an outage occurs.
“Vegetation management is crucial to our service reliability efforts and one of the most effective ways we can reduce the impact of tree-related outages for customers,” said Linda Moss, president of FirstEnergy’s Maryland operations.
As part of Potomac Edison’s $33 million program, trees are inspected and pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree while maintaining safe clearances near electrical equipment. In some cases, trees that present a danger or are diseased may be removed. Similar work will be performed along 242 miles of the company’s high-voltage transmission power lines in Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia as part of a $4.6 million program.
Potomac Edison will be conducting tree-trimming work in the following counties and communities this year:
- Allegany: Barton, Corriganville, Cresaptown, Cumberland, Ellerslie, Flintstone, LaVale, Midland, Lonaconing, Oldtown, Westernport
- Carroll: Mount Airy, Union Bridge, Taneytown
- Frederick: Emmitsburg, Frederick, Middletown, Monrovia, Mount Airy, Myersville, New Market, Sabillasville, Thurmont, Urbana, Walkersville, Woodsboro
- Garrett: Bittinger, Bloomington, Friendsville, Gorman, Grantsville, Hancock, Jennings, Kitzmiller, McHenry, Oakland, Redhouse
- Montgomery: Damascus
- Washington: Beaver Creek, Big Pool, Big Spring, Boonsboro, Cascade, Fort Ritchie, Foxville, Hagerstown, Huyett, Leitersburg, Mount Lena, Pinesburg, Sharpsburg, Smithsburg, Williamsport, Wilson
- Berkeley: Bunker Hill, Falling Waters, Glengary, Hedgesville, Inwood, Martinsburg
- Grant: Maysville
- Hampshire: Augusta, Capon Bridge, Green Spring, High View, Purgittsville, Yellow Spring
- Hardy: Baker, Perry, Wardensville
- Jefferson: Charles Town, Harpers Ferry, Kearneysville, Millville, Ranson, Shenandoah Junction, Shepherdstown
- Mineral: Fort Ashby, Keyser, Piedmont, Short Gap
- Morgan: Berkeley Springs
The vegetation management work is conducted by certified tree experts under the company’s direction, including Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Lewis Tree, N.G. Gilbert, Nelson Tree Service, Wright Tree Service and Xylem Tree Experts.
Potomac Edison works with municipalities to inform them of tree-trimming schedules. Additionally, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way are notified prior to vegetation management work being done.
Potomac Edison serves about 275,000 customers in all or parts of Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery, and Washington counties in Maryland and 151,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Follow Potomac Edison at www.potomacedison.com, on Twitter @PotomacEdison, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PotomacEdison.
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.