Work includes trimming along more than 3,400 miles of power lines in 2023
MORRISTOWN, N.J., June 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), is investing approximately $34 million in 2023 to trim trees along more than 3,400 miles of power lines across its 13-county central and northern New Jersey service area. This work will help prevent or minimize the impact of tree-related damages during severe weather, as fallen trees and branches contacting lines and electrical equipment remain a leading cause of power outages.
Since Jan. 1, JCP&L contractors have successfully completed trimming along more than 760 miles of lines, with nearly 2,700 miles of additional trimming expected to be completed by the end of the year.
"Tree trimming is a year-round effort by our crews and contractors and just one of the proactive steps we take to minimize the impact of power outages and ensure the safe, reliable delivery of electricity," said James Fakult, president of FirstEnergy's New Jersey operations. "Doing this work in a responsible way is also a priority, as our stewardship of the environment and our communities is a core value for JCP&L."
Vegetation near power lines is inspected to ensure trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of trees while maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment. All trimming work is conducted by certified forestry contractors under the company's direction and done in compliance with regulatory requirements.
Crews are also continuing a multi-year effort to identify and remove deteriorated ash trees that have been affected by the Emerald Ash Borer. Last year, nearly 40% of tree-related power outages in JCP&L's service territory were caused by ash trees. Since the initiative to mitigate the dangers posed by these trees began in 2017, nearly 20,000 dead or diseased trees have been removed.
JCP&L will trim trees in the following counties and municipalities over the next two months:
Burlington – Fort Dix
Essex – Short Hills (Millburn)
Hunterdon – Alexandria, Bethlehem, Bloomsbury, Califon, Delaware, East Amwell, Flemington, Holland, Lebanon, Milford, Raritan, Tewksbury, Union and West Amwell
Mercer – Hightstown, Hopewell and West Windsor
Middlesex – Cranbury, East Brunswick, Helmetta, Jamesburg, Monroe, Old Bridge and Spotswood
Monmouth – Aberdeen, Colts Neck, Englishtown, Farmingdale, Freehold, Freehold Borough, Holmdel, Howell, Manalapan, Manasquan, Marlboro, Middletown, Millstone, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Tinton Falls, Upper Freehold and Wall
Morris – Chatham, Chester, Chester Borough, Denville, Morris Plains, Morristown, Mount Tabor (Parsippany-Troy Hills), Mount Olive, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Randolph, Roxbury and Washington
Mercer –Bayville (Berkeley), Forked River (Lacey), Jackson, Lanoka Harbor (Lacey), Manchester, Plumsted, South Toms River and Toms River
Somerset – Bedminster and Warren
Sussex – Franklin, Glenwood (Vernon), Hamburg, Lafayette, McAfee (Vernon), Newton, Sparta, Sussex and Vernon
Union – Berkeley Heights, Murray Hill (Berkeley Heights-New Providence), New Providence and Summit
Warren – Alpha Borough, Changewater (Washington), Greenwich, Hackettstown, Oxford, Pohatcong, Port Murray (Mansfield) and Washington
JCP&L works with municipalities to proactively inform them of vegetation management schedules. In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way are notified prior to work being performed. To help further decrease tree-related outages, JCP&L's foresters are also working to educate residents who live near company equipment about the importance of properly maintaining trees on their own property.
In a rate review filed with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in March, JCP&L proposed an approximately $11 million annual increase in vegetation management and tree trimming activities. The additional funding would allow for increased trimming of trees threatening power lines outside of company rights-of-way. In 2022, 84% of tree-related outages were caused by trees outside of JCP&L's trimming corridors.
JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren. Follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JCPandL or online at www.jcp-l.com
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter: @FirstEnergyCorp.
Editor's Note: Photos of workers using bucket trucks to trim trees near FirstEnergy power lines are available for download on Flickr. A video explaining FirstEnergy's vegetation management techniques can also be found on YouTube.
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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.