Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 18, 2014

APCO tree trimming process looks to reduce power outages

BLUEFIELD — A new tree trimming process by Appalachian Power hopes to reduce power outages and reduce outage times.

The company hopes with the new cycle trimming process to be able to help reduce the number of outages throughout the region, Jeri Matheney, communication director for Appalachian Power, said.

The state Public Service Commission has approved the plan for cycle trimming.

“The traditional method we have been using in the past was to look at the areas with the most problems and prioritize the worst areas first before moving on to other areas. Now with the cycle trimming each power line will get attention every four years trimming one end to the other. This creates a more thorough trimming approach,” Matheney said. “A small pilot study in a Southwest Virginia service area was conducted and brought outages down by 48 percent.”

People will see more tree trimming this summer than they have probably ever seen before, Matheney said.

The company will have 85 new tree trimming crews by the end of May and 125 crews by June. Matheney said area residents should see improvements to the power lines almost immediately.  

“Tree trimming is really important because while we can’t prevent all outages we can make a significant difference in less outages and shorter outage times. When trees are off the lines it makes it so much easier for crews to fix the problem. We know we cannot prevent storms but we are doing everything in our power to try and make things easier for when the power does go out,” Matheney said.

— Contact Anne Elgin at aelgin@bdtonline.com

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