Eversource: Removing trees a necessity for blackout prevention

Sean Redding, manager of Connecticut Vegetation Management, says the utility company has contractors trimming trees all year long.

News 12 Staff

Jun 2, 2021, 9:28 PM

Updated 1,054 days ago

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Eversource vegetation management can be controversial with residents, especially when the power company chooses to remove trees instead of trimming them. However, Eversource say it is necessary to protect customers from the next big blackout.
Sean Redding, manager of Connecticut Vegetation Management, says the utility company has contractors trimming trees all year long.
"A four-year cycle, trim every circuit every four years -- getting clearances from around our wires," he said.
For smaller distribution lines, Redding says trees usually need a little trimming if they don't pose a hazard.
But under high-voltage transmission right-of-ways, if the tree might grow taller than 15 feet, it will get cut down and replanted with something much smaller.
The company's policy on trees under transmission lines got tougher in 2018, in a move Redding says should reduce blackouts in severe weather.
But it also means some longtime residents are having their views suddenly changed.
"Some of those trees where we had only trimmed them or crown-reduced them, we're now removing for long term reliability and sustainability," Redding said.
Redding added that statewide, about 40% of Eversource blackouts are caused by a tree making contact with a power line. He says it goes up to 90% during major weather events.
Last summer's Tropical Storm Isaias left some residents without power for a week.


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