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New tree management presents a new alternative for the electric sector 
 

Cemig File 
 
The goal of tree management is also to reduce power outages caused by interruptions involving transmission lines

05/30/2011

Achieving harmonious coexistence between natural plantlife and energy transmission lines. This is the goal of Integrated Plant Management, implemented by Cemig as an alternative to manual land clearing, which is the technique currently utilized in the Brazilian electric sector. This new technique will be presented at the II Innovation and Technology Forum, which runs until June 1.

The meeting is being attended by professionals and researchers from the electric sector, universities and private initiative.

Utilizing intervention alternatives such as manual control, mechanical control, cultural control and chemical control, the system is designed to establish a community of plants whose growth habits are compatible with the safe operation of the lines, or whose rate of growth is significantly reduced, thus increasing the amount of time between interventions.

With these new management techniques, there will be a significant reduction in maintenance costs for the areas below the lines when compared with manual and mechanical clearing.

“There will also be a reduction in incidences of interruptions in the energy supply caused by interruptions involving transmission lines resulting from interferences by large trees. There will also be a reduction in soil erosion resulting from the protection provided by the vegetation”, notes Pedro Mendes de Castro, environmental engineer at Cemig and director of the Southeastern Regional Office of the Brazilian Urban Tree Management Society.

According to Mr. Castro, another benefit of the new system is a reduction in the risk of work-related accidents, thanks to a significant reduction in the need for constant manual clearing work.

Renewal of flora
Pedro de Castro also explains that the development of the methodology will allow for an improvement in manual clearing through the implementation, in an integrated manner, of procedures for the selective elimination of species, which will result in the establishment of a community of desirable plants. The methodology is recommended by the United States government Environmental Protection Agency.

“Encouraging and maintaining natural small-size vegetation that does not reach the lines (because control is selective) and the conservation and even increase in the biodiversity of the fauna along the stretches under the transmission lines will provide huge gains for everyone in the sector and for the environment”, explains Mr. Castro.

 
  
 
 
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