Providing reliable power to you is, and will always be, top priority for Little River Electric.
As the energy industry continues to transition and more segments of the economy are becoming electrified— vehicles, machinery and even lawn equipment—additional pressures are being placed on our electric grid. With summer storm season upon us, I thought it would be a good time to tell you about a few measures we’re taking to ensure you continue receiving the reliable power you depend on and deserve.
Let me be the first to say I love trees and the charm they add to our communities, and I know you do too. While trees provide shade and add beauty to our area, overgrown vegetation accounts for about half of all power outages. That’s why we strive to keep the co-op’s power lines clear in right-of- way (ROW) areas. A ROW area is the land a co-op uses to construct, maintain, replace or repair underground and overhead power lines. This ROW enables LREC to provide clearance from trees and other obstructions that could hinder distribution power lines. The overall goal of our vegetation management strategy is to provide reliable power to our members while maintaining the beauty of our area.
Modernizing vegetation management
Healthy trees don’t usually fall on power lines, and clear lines usually don’t cause problems. Proactive trimming and pruning keep lines clear to improve power reliability. However, traditional vegetation management is costly and time-consuming. It entails on-the-ground, labor-intensive efforts involving dozens of workers assessing vegetation and overseeing the quality and completion of contractor work. Although this approach has worked for decades, advances and improvements in technology have allowed us to reduce our costs and improve efficiency.
Planned outages improve reliability
Although it may seem counterintuitive, we also maintain power reliability through planned, controlled outages. By carefully cutting power to one part of our local area for a few hours, LREC can perform system repairs and upgrades, which ultimately improve electric service. Planned outages can also be used to balance energy demand, but only in rare circumstances. Rest assured, we will always notify you in advance of a planned outage, so make sure we have your correct contact information on file to receive the latest emails, texts and special mailing.
Vegetation management is an essential tool in ensuring power reliability and minimizing the risk of outages. As advancements become more accessible and costs drop, we anticipate using additional technologies to ensure a consistent energy supply while managing the environment.
Lastly, I encourage you to follow Little River Electric on Facebook so you can learn about the latest co-op updates.