Friday, April 1, 2011

Pepco to Replace Live Trees with Storm-Proof Artificial Trees to Prevent Power Outages

The Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) announced today that it will be planting artificial, storm-proof trees throughout the District of Columbia and Montgomery County. According to Pepco, these artificial trees will be able to withstand heavy snowfalls, ice storms, and winds of up to 100 miles per hour. “We’re excited about the storm-proof tree initiative,” said Pepco’s arborist, Mary Conti. “These trees, which are composed of carbon nanofibers, are able to hold up against just about anything that nature can whip up. Replacing living trees with artificial trees will dramatically reduce the number of power outages in the Washington, DC area.”

Pepco plans to initially replace some 4,500 living trees with artificial trees. “None of these real trees has a life expectancy of more than 20 years,” Conti said. “Compare that to the Pepco trees that will last for at least a century.” The 4,500 trees that Pepco has targeted for replacement either intersect or overhang power lines. That alone should reduce the power outage rate by 75 percent, Pepco says. Eventually, Pepco plans to replace approximately 15,000 trees with these modern, indestructible artificial trees.

Pepco’s artificial tree project is in response to customer’s requests to have more reliable electricity.

Pepco, which already has considerable experience at cutting down trees, expects that it will take approximately eight months to replace the first batch of 4,500 trees. “When the next snowpocalypse strikes, we’ll just laugh at it,” Conti said.

Pepco pointed out that area residents will be impressed, even wowed, by these artificial trees, because they were created by the award-winning Italian design firm FioreNuovo. “We think that people will like our Pepco trees even more than actual trees,” Conti said.

Each tree will have three openings that lead to spacious hollows inside for squirrels, raccoons, birds and other critters to establish homes. “These are not just beautiful, but eco-friendly trees. I know that the squirrels will be very happy.” The upper leaves on the trees can be replaced with solar-cell coated leaves at a future date so that not only will we have fewer power outages, but the Pepco trees will actually generate more energy. “An ordinary tree can’t make electricity,” Conti pointed out. “Our trees are better than nature.”

The cut-down trees will be turned into firewood and given away to needy families, Pepco said.

There's more information about this on our companion email list, the Cleveland Park Listserv.

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