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JCP&L Begins $24M Tree-Trimming Project [AUDIO]

A $24 million effort is underway by Jersey Central Power & Light, to trim trees in 13 New Jersey counties to help reduce outages. The year-long project will cover 3,400 miles of power lines.

Downed Power Lines
Mark Wilson, Getty Images

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“This is part of our budget for 2014,” said JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano. “It’s part of a $250 million overall budget that was dedicated to enhance reliability and improve our system.”

Crews are working in Point Pleasant this month.

Despite the significant amount of storms New Jersey has experienced this winter, Morano said JCP&L has seen its average duration for power outages decrease over relatively the same period as last year.

Part of the process, according to Morano, is educating customers about planting the right tree in the right location.

“Many of the trees that cause power outages are from outside our usual trimming corridor,” he said, meaning they are on private property outside of what JCP&L is required to maintain. “So we let people know that their trees can have the potential to damage our wires and equipment as well, and we hope that they do proper trimming on their trees.”

Although the utility spends large amounts of money each year on tree-trimming, Morano said upgrading the system by putting wires underground would not prevent power outages because the lines still have to come from underground to overhead.

“There are indeed portions of the system that are underground; new developments do have underground wiring,” he said.

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