August 24, 2023
Utility vegetation management (UVM) has become increasingly important as climate change accelerates plant growth near transmission infrastructure. Encroaching vegetation can lead to faults, which can subsequently cause ignitions, especially in high-risk areas. Enline is pioneering advanced UVM solutions that use AI, LiDAR, and analytics to proactively mitigate vegetation risks and enhance grid resilience.
Expanding plant life near transmission corridors threatens both reliability and safety. Vegetation is responsible for an estimated 15% of total outages, costing US utilities approximately $150 million annually . Fast-growing trees and shrubs can encroach on rights of way, with branches and stems intruding into live-line spaces. This heightens the risks of:
The rapid vegetation growth driven by climate change has amplified these risks. Warmer temperatures and changing precipitation patterns associated with climate change stimulate faster plant growth . Extreme weather events, such as droughts and storms, also weaken trees, making them more susceptible to impacting lines.
With grids operating closer to capacity, transmission operators cannot afford outages caused by vegetation. A proactive approach to UVM is vital to prevent faults, ensure public safety, and avoid expensive blackouts.
Most utilities employ a regular cycle of vegetation pruning and removal within rights of way. However, traditional UVM strategies face several limitations:
As a result, significant vegetation threats might go unnoticed between occasional inspections. Moreover, without risk analysis, maintenance crews lack the necessary data to prioritize strategically.
Enline offers an integrated vegetation management solution that addresses these challenges by:
These capabilities enable utilities to identify, analyze, and proactively mitigate vegetation risks across their entire service territory. Here are the four key features:
Enline satellite imagery to create detailed 3D models of rights of way. By integrating high-resolution optical data, we achieve accurate vegetation mapping at the individual tree level across extensive distances.
The 3D models include:
These high-resolution models serve as a digital twin of the entire right of way, ensuring comprehensive visibility for proactive UVM.
Using advanced algorithms, Enline evaluates the data and image to determine:
The primary parameters assessed include:
These high-resolution analytics offer actionable insights on the most hazardous vegetation over extensive distances.
Utilizing machine learning, Enline models the vegetation's growth over time. By integrating data on tree species, climatic conditions, soil quality, and other factors, the models can:
This predictive analysis ensures vegetation management initiatives preemptively address potential encroachments.
By overlaying vegetation analytics with grid infrastructure data, Enline facilitates risk-based prioritization. The main risk factors considered include:
This approach enables vegetation crews to address the highest-risk areas first, based on potential impacts on reliability and safety.
Additionally, Enline offers near real-time weather and wind monitoring during storms and high wind conditions. By integrating data from ground-based weather stations and satellites with grid infrastructure analytics, it provides a comprehensive understanding of vegetation risks during adverse weather events. Operators can visualize wind speeds, vegetation movement, and the potential impact on assets in specific zones, informing their response strategies.
In trial deployments across North America, Asia, and Europe, Enline's vegetation management technology has shown remarkable benefits:
By offering comprehensive visibility, advanced analytics, predictive modeling, and risk-based prioritization, Enline empowers utilities to transition towards risk-based, data-driven vegetation management, promoting reliability, safety, efficiency, and grid resilience.
As grids face growing challenges from climate change, Enline's groundbreaking solutions assist utilities in staying ahead of the vegetation threat. By merging high-resolution monitoring, AI-driven analytics, forecast modeling, and risk management, Enline offers actionable insights to address the most pressing vegetation risks across extensive service territories.
With the expansion of grid infrastructure to achieve net zero goals, robust and optimized vegetation management will become even more essential. Enline's technology paves the way for a proactive, predictive approach to UVM, fostering a smarter, safer, and more sustainable grid.