With Storm Season Here, Data is Available to Help Utilities Predict and Prepare

With the abundance of data available, utilities are now better able to prepare for severe weather.

With the abundance of data available, utilities are now better able to prepare for severe weather. This issue of Utility Products brings you two great feature articles that discuss ways utilities can cope with storms and restore power more quickly. In “Creating a Game Plan: This Season’s Storm Outlook,” Jim Foerser discusses the importance of utilities understanding that weather management and response must be a proactive task as severe weather becoming more frequent. “Weather events that occurred once every 100 years are now occurring once every 10, placing increasing strain on utilities,” Foerser reports. The article outlines ways utilities can implement strategies that help predict, plan for and respond to increasingly frequent and sever weather.

And “Data Deluge: How the Data Deluge is Helping Utilities Predict and Prepare,” by Vasan Krishnaswamy, addresses how the abundance of available data can assist utilities in managing power outages. “With the right analysis and interpretation, utilities can forecast, predict and prepare for the worst in an attempt to offer the best,” Krishnaswamy says. Combining and interpreting data correctly will help utilities understand where the highest level of vulnerability exists on the grid, allowing them to take preventive action and reduce the impact.

This issue also brings you three feature articles that discuss vegetation management. Bill Schafer’s article, “When Small Matters: Adding Versatile and Compact Vegetation Management Equipment can Improve the Bottom Line,” discusses those times when space is limited and the job calls for compact tools. While there are projects where you want large, powerful equipment for vegetation management, they aren’t appropriate in areas with little space. Schafer outlines how adding mulcher attachments and compact mechanical trimmers to your fleet will expand versatility and improve production.

And “Rocky Mountain Right of Way Project Enhances Animal Habitat” addresses how utilities can effectively and safely manage rights of way with selective herbicides while providing desirable wildlife habitat. While there are concerns about using herbicides in wildlife areas, the article discusses how certain herbicides, such as Garlon and Milestone, can not only keep undesirable vegetation away from power lines, but can encourage the growth of native forbs and shrubs that wildlife prefer for forage.

Jenny Malcolm’s article, “Tree Service Fleets Use GPS Tracking Technology to Solve Common Problems,” reviews how GPS tracking technology can make fleet operations more efficient and improve customer satisfaction. The article addresses how GPS tracking helps eliminate unauthorized usage, reduce fuel costs and improve driver behavior.

Utility Products also brings you an informative lineup of product focus articles. Check out how you can simplify safety during planned power plant shutdowns; for security, how electric utilities should address the Internet of Things; how new technologies impact the role of padlocks for utility security; how to upgrade substation automation; and how thermal imagers now offer a wider range of sensitivities, resolutions and lenses for more precise detail.

John Tabor

Associate Editor

johnt@pennwell.com

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