Pre-conference Seminar 1: Accelerated Learning Forum: Spatial Analytics for a Resilient Grid
Date & Time
Wednesday, October 5, 2022, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
George Leader Ryan Krause Brian Lafayette

Pre-Conference Hours: 9:00AM-12:00PM
Pre-Conference Fees: Free for Utilities/$395.00 for Non Utilities

Utility Analytics Institute and T&D World, with the help of our founding partner, Utiligent, are bringing utilities together to collaborate on challenges, as well as solutions that allow them to create more operationally efficient organizations and to build a successful business case around spatial analytics, helping utilities improve grid resilience and reliability.

Satellite, LiDAR, and high-resolution 3-D imagery data can be used to correct and augment information about physical assets and their conditions in the real-world environment. These images can then be uploaded into a centralized repository, where artificial intelligence (AI) models or human intervention determine and prioritize issues. This process allows utilities to solve complex location-oriented problems and better understand where and what is occurring on their networks and in the world.

Join this three-hour Accelerated Learning Forum focused on Spatial Analytics for a Resilient Grid to expedite your knowledge, learn from experts in this space, and collaborate and exchange information with other utilities to best set-up your business for success.


Session 1 -Seeing the Trees Through the Woods: The Evolution of Vegetation Management
Session Speakers: 
George Leader, Vegetation Maintenance Manager - Pedernales Electric Cooperative
Ryan Krause, Vegetation Maintenance Supervisor - Pedernales Electric Cooperative

Session Description: This session includes Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s story about the evolution of their vegetation management program; the goals being to improve safety, reliability, and costs. To obtain this goal utilities must be willing to move from reactive maintenance, to cycle program or better yet a targeted program. Pedernales Electric Cooperative will share their thoughts and ideas with you about how their Cooperative did just that. They will also share how they use an advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI), developed by IBM, to determine tree species and densities on their system. Using an algorithm along with satellite data they can tell, with about 80% accuracy, how close the vegetation is to the powerlines. Using the new Geiger-mode LiDAR technology the accuracy has improved to 95% accurate. This has allowed Pedernales Electric Cooperative to see the whole system and target the most immediate threats first. Using data from the Texas A&M Forest Service, they download the current Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) information and create maps that allow them to prioritize work by wildfire risk.

Session Takeaways: 

  • Safety – by using the local WUI code to mitigate the risks from wildfire to life and property 
  • Reliability – by using AI technology you can improve your System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) 
  • Costs – using technology you can identify and focus resources on priority work, rather than react to issues after they become a problem.


Session 2 - Understanding the Role of Spatial Analytics in Mitigating Wildfire Risk
Speaker: Brian Lafayette, Head of Business Strategy, Overstory

Session Description: Faced with increasing climate risks including record-breaking heat waves, droughts, and unprecedented fire seasons, electric utilities must innovate to establish wildfire mitigation strategies that can keep up. Resilience is more important than ever, and some teams are turning to satellite vegetation intelligence to make sure they’re not fanning the flames. By combining local knowledge with satellite imagery, artificial intelligence, and fire risk data, utilities on the leading edge of wildfire risk mitigation are using spatial analytics to strategically prioritize the vegetation management work that safeguards their network from greatest fire risk.

Session Takeaways: 

  • How spatial analytics help teams codify the cost-benefit analysis of a wildfire mitigation strategy
  • What publicly-available resources operations teams can use to make their network resilient against potentially catastrophic wildfires
  • How utilities can makes sense of the many information sources available (tree species, ground reports, weather data, historic fire maps) to prioritize vegetation management work for an effective wildfire mitigation plan
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