Netze BW realizes high accuracy with satellite and AI vegetation assessments
Utility uses satellite and AI solution to avoid proximity bias, enhance worker safety, and realize rapid ROI.
- Company: Randolph EMC
- Location: North Carolina
- Solution: AiDash Intelligent Vegetation Management System™ (IVMSTM)
Avoided worker safety issues
Eliminated proximity bias
Achieved ROI within 1 year
CHALLENGE: Improve efficiencies and cost savings in right-of-way management.
With responsibility for reliable electric service throughout portions of 5 heavily forested counties in central North Carolina, Randolph Electric has its work cut out, to keep its rights of way (ROWs) clear of vegetation.
The heaviest lift in Randolph Electric’s budget is its circuit-based cycle trim schedule, which averages 7 years, according to Randolph EMC Senior Project Engineer Jacob Barlow. Resource and funds availability as well and actual tree condition occasionally shift the cycles to 6 or 8 years, but the “spend” remains heavy.
Not surprisingly, the electricity co-op constantly looks for ways to improve efficiencies and save money in their ROW management. Possibilities they considered included:
- Moving to segmented trims, dividing circuits into smaller, more localized sections that are prioritized by risk, considering the vegetation’s growth and proximity to overhead lines.
- Eliminating proximity bias by ensuring that every line mile, even those out of direct sight, is seen — using a comprehensive approach that includes technology.
- Balancing costs, as average expenses typically rise when hitting the most challenging parts of the circuit.
- Ramping up efficiencies, with workflow flexibility to keep work constant, ensure CDL drivers are available to move heavy equipment as needed, and notify members in advance of segment trim dates.
SOLUTION: Bring new VM technologies into the picture.
Randolph EMC was looking for a technology-based approach that not only gathered more quality data regarding all overhead lines and offered a holistic view, but also addressed logistical challenges, such as covering areas that are difficult to assess by vehicle or via boots-on-the-ground observation. AiDash Intelligent Vegetation Management System (IVMS) provided capabilities the utility needed to:
- Embrace advanced technology alternatives, including drone inspections, LiDAR, and satellite technology.
- Realize efficient and thorough inspection reporting.
- Keep within budget by redirecting budget and resources from traditional on-site inspections to these more advanced technologies.
RESULTS: End-to-end solution takes utility from planning and analysis to execution.
Randolph EMC’s use of satellite powered vegetation management technologies from AiDash allowed reassessment of their trim cycles. And satellite remote sensing technology helped them assess difficult terrain. With enhanced information, the company:
- Determined that being more aggressive with their inherited trim cycle would improve ROW management, without taking on the extra challenges of a segmented approach.
- Avoided worker safety issues that can be found in manual monitoring.
- Eliminated proximity bias.
- Positioned the company to achieve rapid ROI — within one year.
To learn more about Randolph EMC’s approach to vegetation risk management, watch the recorded live event here.
Or get more information about AiDash’s 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.
AiDash is the leader in Intelligent Vegetation Management
Ready to see it in action for yourself?
Get a demo today.