Rotor Blade, LLC, a tree trimming service that utilizes a helicopter and large 10-blade saw, will be trimming sections of transmission right of way in A&N Electric Cooperative’s service area beginning this week.
Rotor Blade has been assisting power companies and line contractors for several years by utilizing its highly skilled pilots and fleet of MD 500 helicopters.
The company began trimming at the Cooperative’s Bayview substation and will work its way north along the rest of the transmission right of way.
Rotor Blade uses a powerful 10-bladed saw, suspended below a helicopter, to trim limbs along electric rights of way. The approach is a cost-effective option for side-trimming difficult rights of way.
This method is also useful in environmentally sensitive areas because it does not leave a footprint, since heavy equipment will not be on the ground to disturb the soil. The trimming also takes place outside the nesting season for most local birds.
“With no heavy equipment on the transmission right of way there isn’t soil erosion or sedimentation going into the bay or seaside marshes,” said Mark Belknap, A&N Electric Cooperative’s Director of Vegetation and Environmental Management. “We also surveyed the system for eagle nests prior to this operation so none will be disturbed.”
In cases where felled limbs land in agricultural fields that share the transmission right of way, ground crews are on hand to place the limbs and brush into the wooded areas on the perimeter.
The trimming will be conducted in the next two weeks, weather permitting. More conventional trimming of the transmission right of way takes about three years and would be on a cyclical schedule.
As with any trimming operation, the Cooperative asks people to stay out of the work zone. Asplundh will deploy spotters for the helicopter crew in the work zones.