One of the priorities of IDGC of Centre — Lipetskenergo division in preparation for the upcoming autumn — winter period is clearing and expansion of ROWs of shrub and tree seedlings. Until the end of 2013 power engineers of the branch are planning to perform work in an area of 723.7 hectares. In this case, 488.9 hectares of them will be cleared, and 234.8 hectares will be expanded to the standard state. 51 million rubles will be allocated for these purposes. For 7 months of 2013 Lipetsk power engineers of IDGC of Centre have completed this scope of work by 68%, having spent 29 million rubles.
Clearing and expansion of ROWs is carried out to prevent possible technological failures caused by power lines crossing with falling branches or trees. These operations are carried out after obtaining the necessary approvals from the Office of the territorial forestry and in strict accordance with the regulations.
To increase the efficiency and quality of these activities, as well as to improve working conditions and to minimize the negative impact on the environment the clearing of ROWs along power lines is performed with the most modern equipment, vehicles and materials.
Thus, in the clearing and expanding the ROWs Lipetsk power engineers use special wood chippers — mulchers that will not only cut trees and shrubs, but also grind them into chips, mixing with the top layer of the soil, thus reducing the risk of surface fires. To cut the trees, located at unreachable distance from the power line wires, the power engineers use hydraulic lifts available in all Distribution Zones of Lipetskenergo. Besides maintenance crews of the branch have special cross-country capacity vehicles, allowing to make the clearing and expansion of ROWs in hard to reach places. For manual clearing such modern tools are used as chainsaws and brush cutters «Husqvarna», which do not require great physical strength, but greatly increase the performance and safety of operation.
«Trees growing on the edge of the ROW can cause interruptions of power supply, fires and injury to third parties. Risk of falling trees on power lines is particularly high in adverse weather conditions — with strong and gusty winds and heavy snowfall. Therefore, clearing and widening of ROWs, including the felling of isolated trees threatening to fall on wires, are an integral part in the work of power engineers to prepare for the autumn- winter operation period,» underlined Deputy Director for Technical Issues — Chief Engineer of Lipetskenergo Alexander Kornilov.