Nebraska Public Power District is making plans to focus on trimming back vegetation from power lines in the Lincoln and Norfolk area.
Tree trimming and removal is part of NPPD's everyday operations, but the utility company is making plans to focus on the power line right-of-way in the Lincoln and Norfolk area.
The patrols, done by helicopter or on foot will begin on Monday, March 18, and is expected to take three months to complete. This effort will ensure a reliable electric system while protecting the public.
NPPD officials say they want to avoid situations like the 2003 "northeast blackout" that left 55 million people without power across eight states and Canada.
"We manage trees for two very important reasons – to ensure our customers have dependable electric service and to prevent safety hazards," said NPPD Transmission and Distribution Manager John Humphrey. "By maintaining an appropriate clearance in the power line right-of-way, we can reduce tree-related power outages."
NPPD's policy is to remove trees and other woody-stemmed vegetation within the transmission line right of-way, as well as tall-growing trees located outside the right of way that could interfere with the continuous safe operation of the electric system.
In many cases, this has meant removing trees in areas where they may have been trimmed in the past. NPPD will dispose of brush and wood resulting from non-emergency tree pruning.
Humphrey says landowners play an important role in vegetation management. NPPD provides information to landowners about planting the right trees in the right place to help keep the problem from occurring. Information on NPPD's vegetation management program and tree planting can be found at http://www.nppd.com/tree-program/vegetation-management-program/.