Transmission & Distribution Channels

Category Archives: Vegetation Management

Vegetation Management

Advanced Survey Technologies Deliver Clear View of Geologic Hazards


Electric utilities commonly use trained foresters, traversing thousands of miles, to manually identify vegetation or other geographic hazards posing risks to transmission infrastructure. For one utility in the Western United States, the challenging terrain and accuracy limitations of laser range finders used to visually identify at-risk trees resulted in 1,424 trees assessed as requiring maintenance, potentially costing $200,000.

Months later, surveying the same assets using high-resolution LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) on fixed wing aircraft, the utility determined only 35 trees needed management, including 17 trees not originally identified in the forester’s survey. Ultimately the use of new technology saved the utility more than $150,000 in maintenance fees.

LiDAR and other improvements in geological hazard mapping are proven to reduce maintenance costs, minimize outage risks, improve safety of field workers and deliver greater shareholder value.
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Vegetation Management

Scheduling Vegetation Maintenance Activities


How to adopt best practices to improve reliability and reduce costs

BY PHILIP CHARLTON, Utility Arborist Association

Electric utilities have always faced the challenge of determining the optimum frequency of maintenance operations for the control of trees and brush growing near the electric system. Utilities must balance the cost of maintenance with the cost and impact of avoiding or deferring action. Read more

Vegetation Management

Vegetation Management on Transmission Lines


Using LiDAR technologies to enhance operations

BY PHILIP CHARLTON, Utility Arborist Association

In March 2014, utility vegetation managers from throughout North America gathered in Fort Worth, Texas to share their experience with the use of LiDAR (light detection and ranging) remote sensing technologies in the management of vegetation growing in and around their utility infrastructure. The managers that participated had over 700 years of combined experience in the electric utility industry. Read more

Vegetation Management

Reliability Vs. Vegetation

vegetation_Florida Power and Light

Florida Power & Light takes steps to keep lights on

Managing vegetation (that is, trees, bushes and other neighboring plants) around power lines is a top priority for electric utilities. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), unmanaged vegetation can cause electricity outages, wildfires, soil erosion, and water quality issues. These unfortunate incidents can damage the power grid, resulting in serious consequences such as reliability, environmental, and national security problems. Read more

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