Outages are always inconvenient. Even though outage-hours experienced by OEC members are relatively low, the co-op always strives to keep reducing those numbers. Some outages are out of our control – things like major storms, car accidents and vandalism.
One thing Oconto Electric works hard at is right-of-way clearing. During several years, OEC has invested more than $2 million on right-of-way clearing. Not only important to reduce outages, right-of-way clearing reduces dangerous situations (like when children climb trees that are touching power lines.) OEC has an 8-10 year cycle of cutting trees. That means the right-of-way of OEC’s entire system is cleared once every 10 years.
When clearing an existing right-of-way, trees, brush and shrubs are removed from under the primary overhead lines. Vegetation is also removed, as needed, from around the secondary power lines which are the lines that bring power from the transformer to your meter. Attempts are made to notify property owners when right-of-way clearing will be done on their property.
LOOK UP WHEN PLANTING TREES
If you plant trees or do any landscaping in your yard, here are some things to keep in mind. Trees and shrubs can be a problem for overhead and underground facilities. You need to consider both when deciding where to plant or how to landscape your yard.
When deciding where to plant trees or shrubs, look up first. All trees and shrubs should be at least 20 feet from the overhead power line, WHEN THEY ARE FULLY MATURE. Event if it seems like you are planting that little sapling far enough away, how big will that tree get in 10-15 years, or when it’s full grown? This brochure shows how far away from an overhead power line you should plant trees or shrubs.
If there is a padmount transformer (a transformer that sits on the ground and is used for underground cable) on your property, please resist the desire to hide it
with landscaping. Crews must have 12 feet on all sides to access that transformer. Any landscaping close to that transformer will be damaged and any outage occurring may take longer to restore.
Trees planted too close to underground cable can eventually damage the cable when tree roots grow into the cable. If a cable is nicked while digging, eventually it will fail in that spot, causing a power outage.
Always call Diggers Hotline before doing any digging or landscaping in your yard. After all underground facilities are marked, then carefully plan where you want to plant trees, shrubs and flowers. If you have any questions about where you should or should not do any landscaping, call OEC. We will be happy to help you.
To view our Right-of-Way information please click on this link.