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Essential Energy use 3D mapping to manage vegetation

A newly announced project will collect LiDAR and geo-tagged image data for over 85,000 km of powerline network.

Essential Energy operates in the Australian state of New South Wales and plans to use the remotely sensed data to create intelligent 3D models to inform precise measurements and reporting.

NM Group were contracted by Essential Energy to perform mapping, analysis and reporting on vegetation risks that pose safety and reliability issues across its overhead electricity network.

The project will use aerial LiDAR survey to collect and process data across an area of almost 160,000 square metres, spread across regional and rural NSW.

With the resulting 3D models, any location where a tree has the potential to grow into powerlines and present a safety or power outage risk can easily be identified and flagged for work by field teams.

The information is presented in an immersive 3D environment called Caydence, which is accessed via a web browser.

“We are always looking for ways to deliver electricity in a more reliable and cost effective way,” said Luke Jenner, Essential Energy’s General Manager Network Services. “This project with NM Group shows our continual focus on innovation as a way of improving the safety, reliability and efficiency of the electricity network.”

NM Group, who were contracted to perform the modelling, is a specialist service provider of asset management, survey and mapping solutions for the power sector.

NM Group’s Technical Director, Shane Brunker said the project is pushing the envelope for the utilities industry.

“As innovators in our respective industry spaces, I look forward to pushing the envelope with Essential Energy and showing how we can further enhance operational management of the electricity network using remote sensing, cloud and 3D visualisation,” Brunker said.

“We are thrilled to have been selected by Essential Energy to carry out this work, given the importance of maintaining a safe and reliable electricity network.”

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