Outage Management, T&D, Transmission

ComEd tasks goats with vegetation management

ComEd has employed more than 200 goats to clear vegetation around its high-voltage power lines in downstate Pekin, Ill.

“Overgrown vegetation can lead to power outages, especially in storms,” said Michelle Blaise, senior vice president of technical services at ComEd. “Using goats to clear brush and small trees is a faster, cheaper and more ecofriendly alternative that reduces safety risks for crews and helps ensure reliable energy for our customers.”

For two weeks, the goats are putting their big appetites to work as they eat foliage and brush around the company’s equipment. The goats are working in steep ravines that would be challenging for people and machines to safely access but are easy for the animals to navigate. ComEd expects the program to double the speed of the job and cut its cost in half.

This innovative approach to vegetation management provides food for the goats, saving resources and reducing waste. It also reduces the need for herbicides and prevents crews from using fuel to power trimming equipment.