Trees that fall and damage electric equipment account for half the time our customers spend without power. The tree canopy can be even more dense in rural areas than in urban environments. That’s why our tree trimming program is underway in both areas as part of our four-point plan to increase reliability across our service territory. This plan also includes updating our existing infrastructure, rebuilding significant portions of the grid, and accelerating our transition to a smart grid.
Crews were recently on Whitetail Drive near in Ann Arbor, proactively trimming trees to proactively prevent tree damage to our equipment, particularly in preparation for extreme weather events. strengthen the grid and increase our preparedness for extreme weather.
Rural locations can be particularly difficult to access during heavy rain or wind, and this work helps prevent outages in a storm. During the winter months, ice can present even greater risks. Ice weighs a lot — just a half inch can weigh as much as a baby grand piano — and if it builds up on surrounding branches, it can cause tree limbs to fall on power lines. To keep this work going, we have increased our tree trim workforce by 30%. We have trimmed more than 5,000 miles of trees last year alone. To read more about our reliability efforts in Ann Arbor, you can check our Ann Arbor community page. You can also find where more reliability work is taking place by viewing our electric reliability improvements map.