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Penelec's Tree Trimming to Enhance Reliability
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 04/08/2021

Penelec, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., continues to conduct tree trimming work in communities across its Pennsylvania service areas as part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance electric service reliability.

Maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment can help reduce the frequency and duration of tree-related power outages, especially those associated with severe weather such as spring and summer thunderstorms.

Since the beginning of the year, tree contractors have trimmed along about 1,000 miles of distribution and transmission lines in the Penelec area as part of the company's $39.4 million vegetation management program for 2021. Penelec's program remains on track to complete an additional 3,200 miles of work by year end.

The 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.

"Penelec is committed to enhancing customer service reliability, and our vegetation management program is one of the most important things we do every year to help maintain our electric system and restore power quickly after storms," said Nick Austin, regional president, Penelec. "Our tree trimming continues to make a positive difference in keeping the lights on for our customers. In 2020, the number of tree-caused outages fell 3% compared to 2019."

The company has also completed its five-year program to proactively remove more than 200,000 dead and drying ash trees impacted by the Emerald Ash Borer along 18,000 miles of power line rights-of-way.

Penelec is scheduled in 2021 to trim trees along transmission lines and distribution circuits in the following counties and areas:

Bedford -- Bedford

Blair -- Altoona, Roaring Spring

Bradford -- Columbia Cross Roads, Grover, New Albany, Wyalusing

Cambria -- Fallentimber, Johnstown

Clarion County -- Knox

Clearfield -- Beccaria, Dubois, Madera

Columbia -- Benton

Crawford -- Cochranton, Meadville, Titusville

Cumberland -- Shippensburg

Erie -- Corry, Edinboro, Erie, Fairview Township, Lake City, North East, Union City, Wesleyville

Forest -- Marienville

Franklin -- Fannetsburg, Roxbury, Shippensburg

Huntingdon -- Alexandria, Huntingdon, Petersburg

Indiana -- Blairsville, Glen Campbell, Indiana

Jefferson -- Brockway, Brookville, Punxsutawney, Summerville

McKean -- Lewis Run, Port Allegany

Potter -- Galeton, Shinglehouse

Somerset -- Berlin, Hooversville, Rockwood, Somerset

Sullivan -- Eagles Mere

Susquehanna -- New Milford, Susquehanna, Thompson

Tioga -- Mansfield, Morris Run

Venango -- Oil City, Utica

Warren -- Warren

Wayne -- Starrucca

Wyoming -- Falls

As part of its notification process, Penelec works with municipalities to inform them of tree trimming schedules. In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way are notified prior to vegetation management work being done.

The vegetation management work is conducted by qualified line clearance arborists, including Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Davey Tree Expert Company, Penn Line Service, Hazlett Tree Service, Townsend Tree Service, Lewis Tree Service, and Treesmiths.

Penelec serves approximately 585,000 customers within 17,600 square miles of northern and central Pennsylvania.

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