Netze BW realizes high accuracy with satellite and AI vegetation assessments
North Carolina Co-op transforms vegetation management approach with AiDash satellite and AI technology.
- Company: Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Corporation (JOEMC)
- Location: North Carolina
- Solution: AiDash Intelligent Vegetation Management System™ (IVMSTM)
Work planning is now more efficient and precise
Crews are directed to the right place at the right time
Data-driven insights improve planning and budgeting processes
CHALLENGE: Serve new customers while maintaining existing service areas
With staggering rates of new service demand, Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Cooperative (JOEMC) was struggling to serve new customers while maintaining existing service areas across some of North Carolina’s beaches, riverways, forests, and agricultural areas.
JOEMC’s traditional approach to vegetation management across 2,400 line miles used in-house teams to mitigate vegetation issues and, time-permitting, outage follow-up, while contractors were tasked with the routine maintenance trims. Contractors were simply expected to get as far as they could get today and pick up where they left off tomorrow.
“I think we’re beginning to realize — that is an outdated approach to trying to properly and efficiently manage vegetation on our system,” said JOEMC Vegetation Management Supervisor Clayton Jones.
So JOEMC opted to investigate available technologies for better solutions that would enable them to:
- Use data analytics to learn more about their vegetation management practices.
- Direct cooperative resources to the right locations at the right time.
- Help improve the overall reliability and safety of their electric grid.
SOLUTION: AiDash Intelligent Vegetation Management System (IVMS)
JOEMC’s goal of ensuring reliability and safety required a thorough understanding of vegetation management challenges throughout their network, which would help them keep workflows on track. The utility was looking for data and insights to help them reevaluate their vegetation management practices:
- What is the best practice for mitigating issues the system is showing?
- Is the bid package going to get the best process for what the utility is up against for that year?
- Should unit-based pricing continue?
- How many miles of lines or how much vegetation can be managed within budget?
The utility chose to work with AiDash IVMS, which provides a detailed satellite view of the network — delivering comprehensive vegetation data and insights for trim and budget planning. By helping the utility answer the abovementioned questions, the solution also drives decision-making regarding JOEMC’s traditional vegetation management approach.
Jones explains, “So, essentially, we just take the data that we are provided, and we see how we can use it to best fit the crews and resources that we have.”
RESULTS: Big picture insights improve work plans to ensure safe, reliable service
The new satellite and AI solution provides the big picture view and insights JOEMC needs to make work planning more efficient and precise.
JOEMC now can look at a circuit that has been flagged by the system as needing a trim and drill down to assess it on the smaller segment level. That focused view, for example, might indicate just a few areas exhibiting a high grow-in risk or high total risk that need attention, rather than the entire circuit.
“We have a better understanding — more so than we’ve ever had,” Jones says.
With new satellite and AI technology in place, JOEMC now looks at full circuit-level information to create work plans, which helps them to determine:
- Which circuits or line miles need to be trimmed in the next year.
- Which circuits can wait for routine maintenance.
- The size of the workload and safety concerns.
- How work can best be distributed across internal and external crews.
Recommendations and insights inform both the planning and budgeting processes — allowing decision-makers to discuss updates based on data and numbers specific to their system and the work ahead.
“That technology has definitely given me confidence, knowing that I can essentially look at our entire system right here in my office,” says Jones. “I can use that technology to essentially guide our crews and our contract crews to mitigate the vegetation [around] our system efficiently, and make sure they’re working on the right areas at the right time.“
To learn more about Jones-Onslow EMC’s lessons learned on their journey to improve reliability and safety, watch the video here.
Or get more information about AiDash Intelligent Vegetation Management System here.
AiDash is an AI-first vertical SaaS company on a mission to transform operations, maintenance, and sustainability in industries with geographically distributed assets by using satellites and AI at scale. With access to a continual, near real-time streams of critical data, utilities, energy, transportation, water and wastewater and other core industries can make more informed decisions and build optimized long-term plans, all while reducing costs, improving reliability, and achieving sustainability goals. To learn more about how AiDash is helping core industries become more resilient, efficient, and sustainable, visit www.aidash.com.
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