PEKIN, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Once thought of strictly as farm animals, goats have undergone some serious rebranding in recent years. From goat yoga to goat memes, it seems goats are everywhere these days.
ComEd isn’t saying namaste to goats, but it has found a smart use for the popular animal. The company has employed more than 200 goats to clear vegetation around its high-voltage power lines in downstate Pekin, Ill.
“Overgrown vegetation can lead to power outages, especially in storms,” said Michelle Blaise, senior vice president of technical services at ComEd. “Using goats to clear brush and small trees is a faster, cheaper and more ecofriendly alternative that reduces safety risks for crews and helps ensure reliable energy for our customers.”
For two weeks, the goats are putting their big appetites to work as they eat foliage and brush around the company’s equipment. The goats are working in steep ravines that would be challenging for people and machines to safely access but are easy for the animals to navigate. ComEd expects the program to double the speed of the job and cut its cost in half.
This innovative approach to vegetation management provides food for the goats, saving resources and reducing waste. It also reduces the need for herbicides and prevents crews from using fuel to power trimming equipment.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), a Fortune 100 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.