Trees and Lines
Trees and power lines make lousy neighbors. Beltrami Electric has contracted with Northern Vegetations Management, Inc. to remove trees and brush in selected townships within the right-of-way areas beginning mid-December. The rights-of-way required is 60 feet - 30 feet on each side of primary lines and pole and 15 feet minimum when approaching a residence. If you live in a selected area and do not have overhead power lines on your property, no trees and brush will be removed.
Safety is the number one reason for cutting down trees around power lines. Electricity always seeks a path to the ground. Conductors of electricity include water, your body, tree branches, metal poles and ladders. When you become part of this path, you may be injured or killed. Reducing the amount of trees and brush provides a safer environment for your family members and provides safer access for Beltrami Electric personnel when it becomes necessary to repair power lines or poles.
After safety, service reliability is a key responsibility of your electric cooperative; providing members with the best possible power quality. Have you ever noticed your lights blink? Tree branches that touch power lines are a major reason for these blinks. One tree on your property coming into direct contact with power lines not only affects your home, but it affects the power quality for hundreds of your neighbors. Proper clearance today prevents inconvenience tomorrow. In addition, clearing the lines reduces power surges and enhances power quality, which protects expensive electronics like TVs and computers, which could cost you thousands of dollars to repair or replace.
What is the Right of Way for an Electric Line?
A right-of-way (ROW) for an electric line is a strip of land that an electric utility uses to construct, maintain, repair or replace an overhead or underground power line. The ROW allows the utility to provide clearance from trees, buildings and other structures that could interfere with the line installation, maintenance and operation.
The cooperative’s clearing policy states the rights-of-way is 60 feet, 30 feet on each side of primary lines and poles; 15 feet minimum when approaching a residence. There are options of putting the line underground at your cost including un-depreciated line cost. Less than four spans (250-350 feet per span) of new underground will not be considered unless connecting to existing underground or dead-end lines. Please call the cooperative to find out more.
Will My Trees Need to be Cut?
In most cases, yes. To ensure safe and reliable power, it is important to keep electric distribution lines free of any kind of interference. Beltrami Electric Cooperative maintains a regular trimming schedule to keep interference from trees to a minimum. It is important for our cooperative and our customers to work together and cooperate in this matter.
In some cases, electric distribution lines are built along wooded areas or near existing trees. This is often the case when electric distribution lines are built along roadways or at the rear of residential lots. Therefore, trees in these areas may need to be removed.
Beltrami Electric’s 3-Step Rights-Of-Way Maintenance Cycle
Beltrami Electric contracts with Northern Vegetation Management, Inc. to cut trees and brush in the way of overhead power lines. The right of way area measures 60 feet wide, 30 feet on each side of the poles. Beltrami Electric Cooperative has adopted a three-step maintenance cycle in an effort to ensure safer, more reliable electric service.
Step 1: Trees and brush removed within the rights-of-way - 60 feet, 30 feet on each side of the power line and pole.
Step 2: After one growing season, step two is the application of a safe, environmentally friendly herbicide to control re-sprouting of trees and brush. This occurs during the summer.
Step 3: Step three is a review of any areas that may have been missed in prior herbicide treatments. This follows 1-2 years after step two.
Subsequent maintenance cycles follow in 8-10 year increments, which will be less intensive due to the decreased amount of trees and brush. This aggressive plan has greatly improved system reliability for our members and public safety for all.