Following warnings from energy regulator Ofgem of an ‘horrendous’ energy crunch, aerial mapping company Bluesky is helping electricity firms ensure their power networks are resilient to the threats from falling trees and overgrown vegetation.
Using the company’s digital tree map data, known as ProximiTREE, agricultural and environmental consultancy ADAS has helped a number of utility companies prioritise vegetation management activities on overhead lines.
“By helping electricity companies to identify at-risk sections of the network and actively plan their vegetation management activities, we are shifting the approach from the usual ‘reactive’ emergency response to a tactic that is proactive and planned,” explained Alison Riding, team manager for environmental informatics at ADAS. “This has positive financial implications as the costs of achieving resilience are clearly delineated for each portion of the network, which also improves customer service and helps companies comply with newly introduced legislation.”
Using Bluesky’s ProximiTREE data, the Environmental Informatics team at ADAS is able to automatically analyse entire electricity networks. Advanced geospatial analysis is used to identify specific sections where tree pruning and cutting activities should be prioritised. Once the routes have been selected, the next stage is to carry out a robust arboricultural survey and ADAS has devised an innovative approach by assessing trees from an arboricultural point of view and incorporating a risk assessment of the tree falling across the line in severe weather conditions.