Dominion Energy, a major energy services provider, is confronted with the challenge of addressing power outages caused by vegetation-related issues. With a vast service territory in Virginia covering over 13,000 square miles and more than 32,000 miles of overhead distribution facilities, dead or dying trees have emerged as a significant cause of service interruptions.
Over the past five years, tree-related outages have accounted for 21% of all outages, contributing to a third of the annual System Average Interruption Duration (SAIDI) for Dominion Energy's customers. This statistic has doubled over the past two decades, underscoring the escalating importance of mitigating risks associated with vegetation for the energy provider. Moreover, the rising costs of tree trimming and heightened customer expectations, particularly due to the prevalence of remote work, have exacerbated the challenge.
Dominion Energy partnered with LiveEO to harness AI-powered technology for identifying hazard trees that pose threats to its infrastructure. The collaboration targeted both urban and rural areas, encompassing around 1200 square miles marked by heightened tree-related outages. LiveEO's innovative approach combined satellite imagery for vegetation detection, tree height measurement, and analysis of multispectral satellite data spanning multiple years. Machine learning models evaluated deviations from anticipated vitality patterns, assigning risk levels based on tree height. The solution operates on Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure, facilitating intricate analysis and streamlined vegetation management through prioritized work orders.
By acting upon insights from LiveEO's AI-driven software, Dominion Energy can methodically eliminate hazard trees while safeguarding healthy ones, with projected outcomes including notable improvements in SAIDI for monitored regions and expedited service restoration after severe weather events.
"LiveEO's technology has the potential to drive down our SAIDI and SAIFI, reduce service restoration costs, and help us allocate resources more effectively during storm restoration efforts, making it an invaluable tool for improving our overall system reliability and customer satisfaction", says Cathy Vick, Manager, Electric Distribution Forestry at Dominion Energy Virginia.
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