GREENSBURG, Pa., June 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- West Penn Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), continues to conduct tree trimming work in communities across its 24-county Pennsylvania service area as part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance service reliability.
Maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment can reduce the frequency and duration of tree-related power outages, especially those associated with severe weather such as summer thunderstorms.
Since the beginning of the year, tree contractors have trimmed about 2,000 circuit miles of electric lines in the West Penn Power service area as part of the $46 million vegetation management program for 2020. West Penn Power's program remains on track to complete an additional 2,600 miles of work by year end.
"Our tree trimming is making a difference in keeping the lights on for our customers and more quickly restoring service, particularly after severe weather," said John Rea, regional president of West Penn Power. "We are making tremendous progress in our proactive removal of tens of thousands of deteriorated ash trees along our electric distribution lines harmed or killed by the Emerald Ash Borer."
West Penn Power's tree program in 2020 includes about $4 million to remove about 26,000 dead and dying ash trees along distribution lines in western Pennsylvania. Crews have removed about 9,600 ash trees so far this year.
West Penn Power is scheduled in 2020 to trim trees along transmission lines and distribution circuits in the following counties:
The tree trimming program includes inspecting vegetation near the lines to ensure trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree, while also maintaining safety near electric facilities. Trees that present a danger or are diseased also may be removed.
As part of its notification process, West Penn Power works with municipalities to inform them of tree trimming schedules. In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way also are notified prior to vegetation management work being done.
The vegetation management work is conducted by qualified line clearance arborists under the company's direction, including Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Jaflo Inc., Lewis Tree Service Inc., Penn Line Service Inc., Davey Tree Expert Company, and Townsend Tree.
West Penn Power serves approximately 725,000 customers within in 24 counties within central and southwestern Pennsylvania. Follow West Penn Power on Twitter @W_Penn_Power and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WestPennPower.
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 approximately 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Editor's Note: Photos of workers using bucket trucks to trim 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.
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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.