When it comes to energy and utilities, you don’t hear much about farm animals. But recently the Flagger Force team learned about an eco-friendly, caprine solution to clearing brush and overgrown vegetation around power lines in Illinois, and we wanted to share this innovative approach with our communities;
Chicago Goats Help ComEd Clear Brush by Power Lines
For the second summer in a row, Commonwealth Edison, or ComEd, based in Chicago, borrowed about 200 goats for a targeted grazing program.
In late June and early July, kiko goats grazed under ComEd power lines in downstate Pekin, Ill. Kiko goats are a hearty breed known for their big appetites. The goats were on loan to ComEd from the goat grazing company Goats on the Go. On average, a goat can clear one acre of land a week—equivalent to what a team of people can do with machinery in the same amount of time.
“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 foliage and brush is an eco-friendly, efficient, and safe alternative to our crews when it comes to clearing vegetation in difficult landscapes. Plus, they’re full of personality.”
Goat Program is a Sustainable Choice
To highlight the unique program, which was the first of its kind by an energy company in the Midwest, ComEd has created a lighthearted and educational social media campaign, “Goatternship,” across its social media channels through July 14, 2020.
“ComEd is passionate about any opportunity to create innovative, sustainable solutions for our communities,” Blaise said. “And when we can combine our work with a way to bring joy and education into Illinois homes, it’s even better. We’re excited to continue this pioneering goat grazing program and share it with people everywhere.”
Goats as Interns?
The “Goatternship” campaign chronicles the experiences of this summer workforce, sharing the backstories of individual goats—with names like “Selena Goatmez” and “Great Goatsby”—and playing off features of the traditional internship experience, including orientation, on-the-job training, and performance reviews.
Hungry for more? Learn more straight from the goat’s mouth on ComEd’s blog and see for yourself how just how business savvy these “goatterns” were. There, you’ll also find a video series with more fun videos on how the goatternship went, like the one below:
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