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Illinois Electric Utility Proposes Trimming Trees to Fight Outages in Elmhurst

Chicago-based Commonwealth Edison Co. (ComEd), the largest electric utility in Illinois, has proposed a new tree-trimming project to help minimize outages in Elmhurst.

Mike Guerra, vice president of external affairs for ComEd, told the Elmhurst City Council that the electric utility would like to create a partnership with the city to identify trees on public and private property that need trimming. Guerra said that ComEd currently trims trees on a four-year cycle but would like to speed up the cycle, beginning immediately.

Falling tree limbs that struck electrical equipment were cited as a significant contributing factor to major outages earlier this year in ComEd’s service territory that resulted in some customers being without power for extended periods.

ComEd said it has targeted certain areas of its service territory for upgrades, including tree trimming, installing trip-savers, Hendrix cables, loop schemes and lighting protection. The electric utility said that the new equipment would in some cases be able to prevent outages even after a tree limb strikes equipment.

Streets targeted by ComEd for upgrades include Madison and Bryan, Hampshire and Schiller, North End and Kenilworth, West and Avery, West and Belden, Vallette and Poplar, and York and Grantley.

Sources

“Comed Seeks ‘Novel’ Tree-Trimming Approach to Fix Outage ProblemTribLocal, Nov. 22, 2011.

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