Don't worry; your power should not be affected when our right of way crews clear the area around nearby power lines. Starting in April of 2013 we will be in the following areas:
- Nenana from the Mondersoa to milepost 314
- Van Horn Rd., Lathrop Street to Fort Wainwright range
- Birch Hill, Old Steese to Hagelbarger
- Gilmore and Gold Mine Trails
- Chena Hot Springs Road to 8 mile
- Hamilton Acres, Island Homes, Trainer Gate, Shannon Park
Why do you clear?
GVEA maintains more than 3,000 miles of power line. This is done seasonally, March through October, but power outages happen year-round. We clear for these three basic reasons:
- A clear right of way enables our line crews to quickly access power lines, identify outage causes, and make repairs. Maintaining cleared rights of way has helped shorten the length of outages considerably.
- To prevent danger trees from falling into the lines. Trees falling into power lines are one of the leading causes of power outages. As clearing progresses through our power grid, hazardous trees are identified and removed.
- To prevent trees from growing into the line. Trees growing into power lines become energized and are hazardous to people, pets and equipment. Also, electricity going into the ground costs us all money, similar to leaving your water running while no body is using it.
How much area will you clear?
Most right of way easements are 30-feet wide. We normally cut all brush to the ground.
What is a danger tree?
Danger trees are hazardous trees with severe defects which will cause the tree or part of the tree to fail and damage our equipment, such as a high voltage power line. Examples include:
- Dead trees
- Decayed trunks or root systems
- Severely leaning or overhanging trees
- Trees with high potential to fall into a line due to snow load
GVEA has certified tree risk assessors who can evaluate hazardous trees for danger tree status. If it is determined that the tree poses an unacceptable risk to our equipment, we may remove it. Please note: Due to limited resources we do not remove trees that are not in danger of damaging our equipment. If you are clearing around your service drop and suspect you may fall a tree into the power line, we recommend you hire a contractor.
- Never attempt to trim or remove danger trees yourself. The result could be damage to GVEA's facilities and you will be held responsible for any repairs. Worse, you could be injured or killed. When in doubt, please call 451-5692.
- Never touch a tree in contact with a power line. Trees do conduct electricity and can cause serious injury or death.
How do you notify members that you will be clearing?
What kind of equipment does GVEA use to clear?
You will see us clearing with machines as well as hand clearing. Mechanical clearing is done by a Kershaw brush mower, BobCat forestry mower and a Sky Trim. The mowers cut and mulch the brush and the Sky Trim, which has a 75-foot boom with a rotating saw blade, cuts tree branches growing towards the power lines. Care should be taken to stay well away from the machines as they can throw pieces of wood or other debris that could cause injury.
Our hand crews clear where the Kershaw mower can't go due to restrictive terrain, lawns, or close proximity to buildings. They cut and stack brush along the side of the right of way, trim tree branches that the Kershaw Sky Trim can not get and remove danger trees system wide.
Will you clear around my electrical service drop?
Service drops are the lines that connect your house or business to GVEA's high voltage lines. Since the service drop is owned by the homeowner, it is the homeowner's responsibility to maintain it. The service drop should be kept clear of trees and brush. Note that small twigs and leaves brushing against the line should not cause any problems with your electric service.
Golden Valley Electric may evaluate danger trees threatening a service drop but we are not obligated to cut them. If you have trees you wish to remove that do not classify as danger trees, GVEA recommends hiring a contractor.
We can also disconnect your service for you in some instances to make felling of the trees easier and reconnect it when you are done. There is not a charge for this service during business hours but please try to provide at least 5 days notice.
General Information on trees, planting and care:
Do you know that where you plant trees can save you energy? Learn where to plant your trees:http://forestry.alaska.gov/images/treetools/alaska_landscaping_house.jpg
Links to defend your home against forest fires