The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) works to ensure the reliability and security of the overall power system. Davey Resource Group helps utilities comply with NERC regulations regarding the proximity of vegetation near high-voltage transmission lines.
Stemming from the Northeast blackout of 2003, all utility companies that own transmission lines must submit operational plans to the Environmental Protection Agency to demonstrate steps being taken to ensure they will adhere to NERC compliance regulations. The ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialists™ and expert foresters of DRG ensure utilities fulfill their obligations. Through a variety of approaches—including foot and aerial patrols, work audits, document review and overall cradle-to-grave workflows—DRG ensures NERC compliance through every step of the vegetation management process.
Foot patrols provide utility companies the “boots on the ground” to inventory or inspect vegetation near power lines to help ensure reliability.
Davey Resource Group’s ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialists™ and expert foresters review entire systems or specific circuits, as requested, and inspect for vegetation that poses a threat to reliability. If any vegetation is found encroaching lines, DRG identifies specific trees and other vegetation that require trimming or removal.
DRG prides itself in providing cradle-to-grave workflows, which include the identification of problem trees, creation of work plans to address them, quality assurance of the work itself, and confirmation that a job is closed timely in the utility’s vegetation management tracking system.
Aerial patrols are performed when foresters fly over utility transmission lines to identify vegetation that is a potential threat and could cause an interruption in service. Davey Resource Group partners with the utility or a helicopter company to arrange use of an aircraft.
Aerial assessments provide a valuable perspective for identifying vegetation that encroaches power lines. This also is a key step in cradle-to-grave workflows, particularly as confirmation and quality assurance by foresters on the ground confirms recommended removal or pruning. This process contributes to efficiencies of work plans and the overall vegetation management program.
A utility is required to provide the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the objectives, practices and specifications for its transmission vegetation management program (TVMP). Davey Resource Group’s TVMP compliance services help utilities manage vegetation management schedules and plans, including timely notifications of when work is due. Through propriety Davey software, DRG’s foresters ensure a utility operates according to its TVMP.
The expertise of DRG’s team and electronic tracking system helps to streamline documentation and improve the transmission reliability program’s overall effectiveness. Therefore, a utility is more likely to meet NERC compliance regulations and avoid interruptions of service and fines related to outages.