Sharpen your blades — it’s grass-growing time in Tennessee! By the end of the summer, I’ll be over it, but at this point in the year, I still get excited about getting out and cutting the grass. I appreciate the immediate gratification for a job well done.

Grass isn’t the only thing that starts growing at this time of year. Trees, brush and other vegetation also have growth spurts, and that can have a big impact on the power grid. Trimming trees and other vegetation is an important part of our work to provide you with safe, reliable and affordable energy.

Here’s why maintaining a clear right-of-way is so important:

Safety. We care about our member-owners and put their safety and that of our lineworkers above all else. If trees are touching power lines in our members’ yards, they can pose serious danger to families. If children were to climb those trees, they could potentially come into contact with power lines. A proactive approach also diminishes the chances of severe weather events bringing down branches or trees, making it more complicated and dangerous for lineworkers to restore power.

Reliability. Of course, one of the biggest benefits of a smart vegetation
management program is reliability. Strategic tree trimming reduces the
frequency of downed lines causing power outages. Generally speaking, healthy trees don’t fall on power lines, and clear lines don’t cause problems. Proactive trimming and pruning keep lines clear to promote reliability.

Affordability. Maintaining our right-of-way is expensive. Each year, Powell Valley Electric Cooperative invests a significant amount of money for keeping trees and other vegetation away from power lines. While these efforts are costly, not trimming trees would cost even more. When trees grow too close to power lines, the potential for expensive repairs increases significantly. Effective tree trimming and other vegetation management efforts keep costs down for everyone.

Our team works hard to minimize the impact we have on property owners while also keeping vegetation away from our infrastructure. Our community is a special place. We appreciate the beauty trees afford, but we also know that you depend on us to provide reliable energy. Through vegetation management, we are better able to keep the power lines clear, prepare for future weather events and secure the reliability of the grid.

— Brad Coppock