Dominion Energy, a leading energy services provider with over 26,000 employees, faces a significant challenge due to vegetation-related issues. In their Virginia service territory, which spans over 13,000 m², and with more than 32,000 miles of overhead distribution facilities, dead or dying trees are a leading cause of customer service interruptions.
The Growing Challenge of Vegetation-Related Power Outages
Over the last five years, 21% of outages were tree-related, accounting for a third of the annual System Average Interruption Duration (SAIDI) for customers. These numbers have doubled in the past twenty years, highlighting the growing importance of addressing vegetation risks for Dominion Energy.
Rising Costs and Customer Expectations
Tree trimming costs have risen significantly over the past several years. Customers’ expectations have also risen, especially considering the popularization of remote work over the last years; customers want uninterrupted electricity while at home.
Identifying Hazard Trees with LiveEO's AI-powered Technology
Dominion recognized that many outages come from “hazard trees” - trees that are tall enough to fall into critical infrastructure, but, more importantly, are dead or in declining health. Dominion partnered with LiveEO to identify these risks. Focusing on a mix of rural and urban areas, totaling close to 1200 square miles with higher than average tree outages, LiveEO was able to identify which trees presented a risk to Dominions assets - before any outages occurred.
LiveEO utilized its proven proprietary processing capabilities to accurately assess vegetation risk for Dominion Energy. By detecting vegetation within the area of interest, measuring tree heights through stereoscopic satellite imagery, and analyzing a time series of multispectral satellite data spanning several years, LiveEO was able to identify deviations from predicted seasonal vitality patterns. These deviations were assessed by the machine learning model, assigning a specific risk level based on the tree height.
Harnessing the Power of AWS Cloud for Complex Analysis
LiveEO’s solution runs on the AWS cloud, which enables the complex analysis performed by LiveEO through its robust computing resources and storage capacity. It allows for efficient processing and management of large satellite data sets while facilitating the execution of advanced machine-learning models and time-series analysis. AWS provides a scalable and flexible infrastructure that supports the high technical demands of LiveEO's solutions.
Streamlining Vegetation Management with Prioritized Work Orders
"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.
Coordinated Actions to Remove Hazard Trees and Improve Grid Reliability
Dominion Energy could then plan to take coordinated action to remove these trees - leaving healthy ones - through the power of satellite data and LiveEO’s AI-driven software. After validating some of the data, they expect to find 3.8 hazard trees per mile in the area. By eliminating these trees with a more targeted approach, Dominion Energy expects to improve SAIDI significantly for the monitored areas in the future. The company also sees value in LiveEO’s technology for quicker restoration of service following extreme weather events.
Find out more about LiveEO's Vegetation Management Insights.