Puget Sound Energy reliability project
Whidbey Island vegetation management project complete
Between 2007 and 2019, our vegetation management crews trimmed and/or removed trees along 129 miles of transmission lines across Whidbey Island (see map).
Historically, fallen trees and tree limbs have been the main cause of power outages on the island. This was particularly evident during the winter of 2006 when fierce rains and winds caused trees and branches to fall into transmission lines and knock out power to the entire island. Accordingly, PSE accelerated its efforts on Whidbey Island and improved our system's reliability by proactively working to reduce tree-related outages in our transmission corridor. Based on a comprehensive review of outage history and an independent review of our storm response and procedures, PSE identified specific existing transmission line corridors where the removal of trees with a mature height of 25 feet or more could improve service reliability.
This initiative was a unique, multi-year effort to improve electric reliability on Whidbey Island through enhanced vegetation management. Priority for vegetation removal was given to line segments with the greatest risk of tree-related outages.
What is vegetation management?
Vegetation management involves a variety of programs and techniques designed to protect power lines from the impacts of nearby trees. These programs may include pruning, tree removal, herbicides and smart planting practices. All actions are taken to keep the public safe and the lights on.
Want to know more?
If you have any questions about PSE's vegetation management process or policies please call 1-888-225-5773 or visit our tree trimming FAQ.
We welcome your questions and comments! Please contact:
Storm-damaged power lines on Whidbey Island. Used with permission from South Whidbey Record.
Download more information
2010 project documents
2009 project documents