T&D World Magazine

American Electric Power Awards URMC and ArborMetrics Solutions Contract to Identify Transmission Line Vegetation Threats

URMC and its exclusive partner ArborMetrics Solutions has been awarded a contract by American Electric Power (AEP) to manage and control vegetation threats on the utility’s 6,000 mi of transmission lines in 12 states. The contract provides AEP a turnkey solution for using proprietary remote sensing technologies that, when combined with URMC software and tools, will inventory AEP’s transmission assets as well as nearby vegetation that could threaten power transmission lines due to weather or normal vegetation growth.

Using URMC’s proprietary algorithms and online software, this data is then made available to the desktop of utility company managers who can view these threats in real time and immediately act to mitigate them by deploying tree crews through ArborMetrics Solutions to the exact location using handheld GIS-enabled devices.

Federal regulations, enacted after 2003 when a power line came in contact with a tree and caused major power outages throughout the Northeastern United States, place new responsibility and accountability on utilities to manage the risk that vegetation poses to the nation’s power supply.

“URMC and ArborMetrics' turnkey risk management solution enhances AEP’s compliance with federal mandates while improving AEP’s reliability and efficiency,” begins Adam Rousselle, president and CEO of URMC. “By providing the utility with real-time intelligence directly to their desktop, managers can see threats as they arise and act quickly to eliminate them, avoiding outages and enhancing public safety. URMC provides a powerful, new business intelligence tool that relies on the latest remote sensing and digital imaging technologies to provide better visibility into our in-field assets. We believe that our technology allows AEP to make smart, timely decisions on when and how to act to protect these assets and best serve the public good for consumers in 12 states throughout the country.”

Working from this intelligence, utilities can deploy tree crews through ArborMetrics Solutions to any point in North America, cutting, mitigating and removing vegetation that could threaten power transmission lines.

“AEP is among the first utilities in the world to realize the value of URMC technologies and business analytics and implement them to increase reliability and public safety,” says URMC’s Rousselle. “URMC and ArborMetrics Solutions stands committed to helping AEP achieve their goal of operational excellence through state-of-the-art technology and improved business processes.”

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