Every utility practices some degree of vegetation management throughout the year, which is critical in preparing for disruptions like major storms and wildfires. Identifying and trimming vegetation to maintain and increase minimum clearances between vegetation and powerlines that could potentially threaten your power assets during a disruptive event, greatly reduces the chances of a disruption happening at all.
But is your vegetation management strategy using latest cost-effective digital technologies?
The strength of a vegetation management strategy can be measured in two terms:
- Effectiveness. Are you targeting the right areas, as well as the right vegetation? When you dispatch a trimming crew to a given area, are you confident they will trim in the right spot to eliminate the risk of damage?
- Efficiency. You probably don’t even need to look at your P&L statement to know that vegetation management is one of your largest single O&M expenses. That’s why it’s critical to drill down and take a hard look at opportunities to improve efficiency. Do you dispatch your trimming crews to the exact areas where vegetation threatens your assets, knowing the exact amount of work to be done? Or do you employ a multi-year trim cycle, not fully understanding the risks or work until the job is dispatched?
You can maximize both of the above by leveraging the right intelligent utility Vegetation Management software.
What defines the “right” software? Typically, it’s one that leverages advanced technology to improve precision and visibility. An example is Visual Intelligence, a GE Vernova Grid Software solution.
To start, Visual Intelligence can take in data from virtually any type of scan to create a clear picture of vegetation growth. Then, within the same interface, the solution overlays the vegetation scans on top of a digital map of your entire power network, from generation to distribution. Behind a single pane of glass, your workforce can see exactly where vegetation growth is expected to pose a threat to your assets. Armed with these insights, your trimming crews know exactly where to go and exactly what to trim when they get to the site. This increased precision helps improve both efficiency and effectiveness.