Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative uses the services of Aerial Solutions Inc. to cut right of way in areas that are difficult to reach with ground crews. This North Carolina-based helicopter company uses a patented aerial power saw to trim the right of way along power lines. The 800-pound saw consists of multiple 24-inch diameter rotary blades suspended from a 90-foot vertical boom beneath the helicopter.
The versatility and speed of the saw provides an efficient and cost-effective alternative to conventional side trimming methods in all types of terrain with little to no environmental impact. The aerial saw provides maximum lateral clearances from vegetation encroaching into the right of way. It cuts from ground to sky to further avoid conflicts with the power line. Long-term outages in severe weather are avoided after rights of way are trimmed with the aerial saw.
Member-owners who will be affected by this work in 2019 can expect to receive written notification and a phone call from the cooperative before cutting begins in their area. To help hold down right-of-way maintenance costs for member-owners, SVEC contracts with Aerial Solutions to cover as much territory as possible within a certain timeframe. SVEC contract crews will then follow-up by cutting branches on the ground at locations where the saw had previously visited. The cooperative prioritizes these follow-up visits, first reaching locations that affect member-owners’ grass cutting, for example.
Finally, Aerial Solutions visits SVEC’s territory in the winter months to avoid the possibility of livestock being harmed by the wilt stage of leaves from wild cherries or red maples during the spring, summer and fall.
For more information on the company, visit www.aerialsolutionsinc.com, and read this feature story from SVEC about the company that ran in local and national publications in 2016 (“Va. Cooperative Finds Solution From Above”).
2019 Proposed Trimming Schedule
Shenandoah County (Beginning Jan. 27, Feb. 4 and again March 25, April 1): Columbia Furnace, Conicville, Jerome, Wolf Gap, Wakeman’s Grove, Kern Springs, St. Luke, Alonzaville
Page County (Beginning Feb. 11 and Feb. 18, and then April 8 and April 15): U.S. 340 North -Luray/Rileyville, Marye Lane/Luray
Rockingham County (Beginning Feb. 25 and March 4, and again April 22 and April 29): Mountain Valley, Linville, Green Mountain, Lacey Spring, Singers Glen, Wengers Mill, Kratzer Road, Neff Sawmill area, Valley Proteins
Augusta County (Beginning March 11, March 18): Swoope, Buffalo Gap, Churchville
Augusta County (Beginning May 6, May 13): Churchville, Mt. Solon
Highland County (Beginning May 20, May 27): Rt. 220 south, Monterey