CenterPoint Energy’s Vegetation Management group works proactively to increase customer reliability and our operational efficiencies.
The Vegetation Management group clears rights-of-way for public safety purposes, including mowing, tree trimming and ground clearing, which allows for emergency response access, corrosion protection, routine maintenance access, third-party damage prevention and vegetation management activities near bird nests. Vegetation Management assesses needs for tree trimming near power lines, prepares work maps and manages tree-trimming contractors.
CenterPoint Energy’s Vegetation Management personnel and Trees for Houston hosted a native plant giveaway for the public at a 2021 Earth Day celebration. At this educational opportunity for the community, our Senior Forester distributed 500 native tree seedlings and a number of milkweed plants cultivated as part of Project Orange and Black. CenterPoint Energy also distributes milkweed seedlings to residential customers as part of its Right Tree Right Place program, which provides height-appropriate shrubs and plants to customers to replace trees that have been removed for proper electric distribution line clearance.
Supporting Public Safety, Reliability and Efficiency
Goats Aid CenterPoint Energy Restoration Project
Since 2001, CenterPoint Energy has been working on a long-term prairie restoration project at the Dakota Station Peak Shaving facility, located along the Minnesota River Valley in Burnsville, Minn. On much of this property, non-native invasive plants, such as buckthorn and other shrubs, trees and weeds, have taken over the natural plants, grasses and wildflowers indigenous to the area. We have partnered with volunteers, nonprofit organizations, contractors and a company called Prairie Restorations to remove certain trees, shrubs and plants via cutting, burning, spraying, planting, seed collecting and propagation.
CenterPoint Energy has been using an untraditional resource in the fight against invasive plants and shrubs… goats.
Goat Dispatch, a company located in Faribault, Minn., was hired in 2019 to develop a site-specific grazing plan, utilizing grazing goats to control terrestrial invasive species. The goats have made significant progress – not only do they eat the buckthorn leaves, but they also eat the bark. When the bark is chewed off the buckthorn shrubs, it weakens the plant and eventually kills it. The University of Minnesota discovered that goats are very effective at destroying buckthorn seeds when they eat the fruits and pose very little dispersal risk.