ComEd again launches 'Goatternship' program to highlight animals' part in ensuring energy reliability

Goats' targeted grazing program safely clears vegetation
CHICAGO -- From endearing bleats and "bahs" to their eco-friendly way of life and nose-to-the-ground work ethic, goats are ideal partners for ComEd.

For a second year, more than 200 goats are taking their place among the ComEd ranks for a targeted grazing program, serving as a safer and more sustainable way to clear vegetation in hard-to-reach terrain and helping to ensure reliable power.

"ComEd is passionate about any opportunity to create innovative, sustainable solutions for our communities," said Michelle Blaise, senior vice president of technical services at ComEd. "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."

In late June and early July, the kiko goats are grazing under ComEd powerlines in downstate Pekin. Kiko goats are a hearty breed known for their big appetites. The goats are 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," Blaise said. "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."

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.

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.

To learn more about the goats and track their progress, check out ComEd's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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