Broad River Electric strives to maintain the area’s beautiful surroundings and ensure a reliable power supply by keeping power lines clear in rights-of-way (ROW).
A right-of-way is the land Broad River Electric uses to construct, maintain, replace or repair underground and overhead power lines. The right- of-way zone is 15 feet on either side of a utility pole. Rights-of-way enable the co-op to provide clearance from trees and other obstructions that could hinder power line installation, maintenance or operation. ROW areas are typically on public lands or located near a business or home.
Broad River Electric must be able to maintain the power lines above and below the right-of-way. Proactive vegetation management benefits co-op members in three tangible ways.
Broad River Electric puts the safety of members and its lineworkers above all else. Overgrown vegetation and trees pose a risk to power lines. For example, if trees are touching power lines, they can pose a danger to families. If children can access those trees, they can potentially climb into a danger zone. Electricity can arc or jump from a power line to a nearby conductor like a tree. Vegetation management diminishes the chances of falling branches or trees during severe weather events that make it more complicated and dangerous for lineworkers to restore power.
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.
Vegetation management is an important part of keeping rates affordable for not-for-profit cooperatives like Broad River. If trees grow too close to power lines, the potential for expensive repairs also increases. Effective tree trimming and other vegetation management efforts keep costs down for everyone.
“Our community is a special place,” says Vegetation Management Supervisor Rodney Butler. “We appreciate the beauty of our trees, but we also know our community depends 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.”
Right-of-way work in Spartanburg County
Broad River Electric’s vegetation management contractor Asplundh Tree Experts has begun work in the northern Spartanburg County communities of Lyman, Welford and Inman.
By summer, crews will have worked their way into Campobello and Fingerville.
If you have questions about Broad River Electric’s vegetation management program or see any obstruction to power lines, call (866) 687-2667.