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For Immediate Release

Contact

Richard Yost

richard.yost@bge.com

BGE’s Osprey Watch Program Protects Birds and Electric Service Reliability

Customers Can Email Locations of Nests on Utility Equipment Directly to BGE

BALTIMORE (March 1, 2017) – March brings ospreys to the Chesapeake Bay region and the likelihood that their nests will appear on Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) electric equipment. These nests endanger the birds and may cause power outages.

To keep ospreys safe and help BGE maintain quality electricity power, Osprey Watch allows customers to email BGE directly (ospreywatch@bge.com) if they identify a nest on or near power lines and poles. BGE will dispatch a trained crew to either shield the raptors from the equipment or remove unoccupied nests. Customers reported 23 nests to BGE in 2016.

"The first year of Osprey Watch was a great success. Through this innovation, we listened to our customers and engaged with them in a common mission: keeping the region's ospreys safe and preventing outages. Working together to create programs that benefit customers and wildlife is a great example of BGE's smart energy approach," said Alexander Núñez, BGE's senior vice president of regulatory and external affairs and member of the board of Audubon Maryland-DC. "BGE is committed to environmental stewardship and has a comprehensive plan to protect wildlife. Osprey Watch enables everyone to help maintain a safe nesting season for ospreys on the Chesapeake Bay." 

How customers can help:

  • When you see an osprey nest on BGE equipment, report the location of the osprey nest via ospreywatch@bge.com and provide the following information:
    • If the pole is easily accessible, please send us the pole number, located on a placard near eye level on the pole.
    • If the pole is not easily accessible, please send us the nearest address to the pole and attach photos of the pole (taken from different perspectives if possible).

Once a nest is reported, BGE will remove the nest if no birds or eggs are present. If possible, the nest will be relocated. If the nest is inhabited, shielding will be placed on the electric equipment to mitigate the risks of contact.  BGE adheres to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Bald Eagle Protection Act and has a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Special Purpose Utility Permit covering all work involving active nests.

The vast majority of osprey related incidents occur between April and August. The most impacted areas are located along the Chesapeake Bay and include Havre de Grace, near Martin State Airport, south Baltimore, south of Annapolis, and Shady Side to Deale in Anne Arundel County.

In addition to implementing wildlife protections to improve reliability, BGE is also investing significantly in gas and electric equipment upgrades—more than $6 billion since 2002 and an additional $4 billion over the next five years. BGE works with other Exelon utilities to identify and adopt best practices that help reduce the frequency and duration of outages. In 2016, the average number of interruptions was the fourth lowest rate in BGE's two-hundred year history, despite more storms than the previous year. When customers did experience an outage, BGE restored power faster than ever before. The average length of a service interruption has been reduced by 49 minutes over the last five years.

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BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility, is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility. Headquartered in Baltimore, BGE delivers power to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company's approximately 3,200 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $5 billion of output in its service area, supporting more than 9,500 local jobs and producing $923 million in labor income. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube  and Flickr.

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