BTES to Use Specialized Equipment for Right of Way Improvements

May 5, 2020

Vegetation management near power lines and equipment is critical for safe, reliable power. Bristol Tennessee Essential Services’ (BTES) customers may soon see the use of specialized equipment to meet the reliability expectations that its customers expect.

“BTES is performing aggressive tree trimming in areas of our system that are currently at a higher risk for tree related outages,” explained BTES CEO Mike Browder. “In recent years, an increase in vegetation growth has caused trees to become the highest cause of customer outages.”

To expedite the 2020 Right of Way Improvement Process, additional crews will be using aerial trimming with a helicopter and other mechanized and manual trimming.

Browder continued, “In most situations, after an area has been cleared, brush will be left in windrows which can help facilitate habitats for animals such as birds, rabbits, and other small wildlife.”

During the 2020 Right of Way Improvement Process, BTES will be following the Rights of Way that were purchased from East Tennessee Light & Power (ETL&P) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). ETL&P and TVA originally obtained the Rights of Way more than 60 years ago.

“The overall width of a Right of Way is typically 100 feet on subtransmission power lines which is 50 feet on each side from the center,” explained Browder. “Our customers expect reliable electricity – and this is just another improvement in our Reliability Enhancement Process to keep the lights on for our customers.”

Other recent projects within the Reliability Enhancement Process include the redundant circuit routing for subtransmission and distribution power lines, construction of new substations, installation of BTES’ Automated Switching System, implementation of a mobile substation, and the upcoming installation of a new delivery point substation.

For more information on the 2020 Right of Way Improvement Process, visit