"Hurricane Sandy and other severe storms in the past two years made it clear that we need to do even more to eliminate potential tree trouble along our power lines," said Bill Klokis, manager of vegetation management for the utility. "This more comprehensive approach will be a real benefit to our customers, who will see fewer power outages as a result."
Klokis said PPL Electric Utilities will invest about $40 million in vegetation management activities this year to reduce the number and duration of power outages.
The utility plans to step up efforts along its 69-kilovolt transmission lines, as well as along some local distribution lines that deliver power to homes and businesses.
During both the fall snowstorm in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy, no tree-related outages were reported on either the 500- or 230-kV systems, where major vegetation work had already been done.
During 2013, the utility expects to complete vegetation management work along about 725 miles of 69-kilovolt transmission lines.