Maintaining reliable power by keeping lines clear

Posted on May 18 2024 in Southern Indiana Power
Right of way image

Steve Seibert

At Southern Indiana Power, we strive to maintain a reliable power supply by keeping power lines clear in rights-of-way (ROW).

A right-of-way is the land we use to construct, maintain, replace, or repair overhead and underground power lines. Rights-of-way enable the co-op to provide clearance from trees and other obstructions that could hinder the installation, maintenance, or operation of the power line. ROW areas are typically on private lands near a home, business, or farm. Regardless, Southern Indiana Power must be able to maintain the power lines above and below the ROW. The overall goal of our vegetation management program is to provide reliable power to our members while maintaining the beauty of our community. Proactive vegetation management benefits co-op members in three tangible ways.


First and foremost, we care about our members and must put their safety and the safety of our lineworkers above all else. Overgrown vegetation and trees pose a risk to power lines and the public. Electricity can arc or jump from a power line to a nearby conductor, like a tree. A proactive ROW maintenance plan diminishes the chances of public contact and fallen branches or trees during severe weather events.


Strategic tree trimming reduces the frequency of downed lines causing power outages. Healthy trees generally don’t fall on power lines, and clear lines don’t cause problems. Proactive trimming and pruning keep lines clear to promote electric system reliability.


As you know, Southern Indiana Power is a not-for-profit cooperative. That means we strive to keep our costs in check to keep our rates as low as possible. This extends to our approach to vegetation management. If trees grow too close to power lines, the potential for expensive repairs also increases. Effective tree trimming and other vegetation management efforts keep costs down for everyone.

Our community is a special place. We appreciate the beauty trees afford, but we also know our community depends on us to provide safe, reliable energy. Through vegetation management, we can better keep the power lines clear, prepare for future weather events, and enhance the reliability of our electrical system.