Right-of-Way Maintenance Increases Safety, Reduces Outages

By WREC Staff

WREC poles and power lines
Many WREC poles and power lines—such as the one pictured above—run
through areas with heavy brush and thick trees.
Photos by Ryan Brodsho

As part of Wells Rural Electric Co.’s mission to improve the quality of life in the communities we belong to, one of our top priorities is providing members with safe, reliable electricity.

While WREC’s line crews are always ready to respond to outages at a moment’s notice to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible, fulfilling our obligation to reliability is about far more than being prepared when the power goes out.

While outages are inevitable, WREC operations personnel are dedicated to executing a detailed preventive maintenance program that ensures your
lights stay on as much as possible by avoiding outages before they happen.

WREC employees look at system data to identify potential problem areas and projects to strengthen our distribution system. Two of our biggest duties
every spring and summer are trimming trees and making sure right-of-ways are cleared around power poles, lines and other equipment.

While maintenance projects can be time-consuming and require heavy
equipment, clearing brush from around poles is a vital part of protecting
equipment from wildfires.

Right-of-way maintenance and tree trimming are essential, time-consuming jobs that take many forms. In some areas, the priority is clearing brush and other foliage around poles to provide protection in case of wildfire. In 2018, the Echo Fire in southern Clover Valley burnt through WREC’s lines and, thanks to right-of-way maintenance, didn’t burn down any poles.

In other areas, as shown in these photos, it’s important to clear trees that could damage equipment and cause outages or make accessing problem areas difficult, potentially lengthening the duration of outages.

These projects are an essential, ongoing part of reliability. The goal is simple: making sure you have access to the electricity that powers your lives and our communities whenever it’s needed.

A recent right-of-way
clearance project in
Ruby Valley carved a
safe path for WREC lines
and equipment.