Eversource is piloting a tree-trimming program that uses helicopters to access areas challenging to reach with vehicles and other equipment.
The energy company contracted with Rotor Blade to conduct overhead trimming along a remote power line corridor in Antrim last week.
“The tree trimming that we completed in Antrim will help to ensure reliable power for nearly 1,000 of our customers in the region, addressing a circuit that has been prone to tree-related outages in recent storms,” Eversource Manager of Vegetation Management Bob Allen said in a news release.
“The work we completed in one day using a helicopter would have taken four climbing crews several weeks working by foot. Enhancing the efficiency of our tree trimming in remote areas enables our team to cover more ground as we continue addressing the large number of dead, hazardous trees across the state that threaten overhead electric lines.”
According to the news release, Eversource plans to explore expanding its use of helicopters for trimming along circuits in areas of the state with similarly rocky terrain. Using helicopters for the work reduces the risk of injury to tree crews and is also more time- and cost-effective than ground-to-sky trimming.
Tree damage is consistently the most common cause of power outages in New Hampshire, one of the most forested states in the nation, the news release said. Eversource has approximately 12,000 miles of overhead power lines.
“We’re constantly finding dead or dying trees, and with the recent discovery of the devastating invasive Spotted Lanternfly in the Granite State, there’s no indication when the problem will stop,” Allen said in the news release.
“There’s so much more trimming and removal that must be done to ensure reliability for our customers, especially in the remote areas that this helicopter work will help us to efficiently and safely target. Leveraging the use of helicopters to speed our trimming efforts, in addition to working closely with our communities, is enabling our team to stay on top of the problem.”
For details on the company’s vegetation management program, visit eversource.com.