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Educational Sessions

Utility Arborist Association (UAA)

3 Years of Vegetation Management Storm Resiliency Work – The Program & Results
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
12:20 PM — 12:50 PM
Osceola Ballroom B
A, U, M, Bm
In 2012 the New England utility Unitil implemented a companion program to its standard vegetation management program in New Hampshire.  In the Northeast, storm events were occurring with increasing frequency and severity and customers were looking to the utility for a response.  Unitil implemented a pilot program aimed at vegetation management storm resiliency to test the effects of reducing tree exposure on reliability during storm events.  After three years of regulatory approval for the program and sustaining two major storms – the results of ground to sky pruning and intensive risk tree removal are emerging.  Unitil is evaluating the program’s cost to implement, reliability effects, and public acceptance against the costs of storm preparation, restoration and response, as well as the storm costs for both business and residential customers.  Actual video survey footage of tree damage during the restoration period following a major snowstorm has aided greatly in the program’s evaluation.
  1. Sankowich S., IMPROVING GRID RELIABILITY- How to execute an advanced vegetation management strategy, Electricity Today, January/February 2014 

Presenter Information

    • Sara Sankowich
      Sara Sankowich is the System Arborist at Unitil Service Corp. She has been working in the utility arborist field for the past 14 years. Prior to managing the vegetation management program at Unitil, Sara managed vegetation management strategy at National Grid. She has also worked as a utility arborist for Orange & Rockland Utilities and Northern Indiana Public Service Company. Sara has a BS in Forest and Natural Resource Management from the State University of NY, College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She is a Certified Arborist, serves on the Utility Arborist Association research committee, and is the New Hampshire State Representative for the New England Chapter. 

Presentation file information