T&D World Magazine

Progress Energy Implements Vegetation Management Solution

Progress Energy has implemented Intergraph's Field Automation solution for Vegetation Management to improve the efficiency and management of all vegetation workflows.

Progress Energy has a units-based vegetation management process that includes planning and oversight by foresters, needs assessment inventories conducted by Progress inspectors, field work performed by contractors, and post-trim inspections. Progress previously managed vegetation workflows with a paper-based process, which involved multiple spreadsheets and databases.

With Intergraph's Vegetation Management solution, Progress can save significant time and money with an integrated geospatial system that automates field operations and workflows – from managing facility inspections to capturing work done in the field. The utility leveraged its existing geographic information system (GIS) investment, while reducing manual labor required for paperwork and data entry. Intergraph's solution will help Progress maintain 52,000 miles of primary wire.

Vegetation management and tree trimming is an increasingly important issue in the electric transmission and distribution industries. Regulatory mandates require that electric utilities eliminate all power outages caused by vegetation interference with power lines. Companies failing to meet the requirements face penalties and fines of up to $1 million per occurrence per day.

Progress expects to gain payback for the system within one year and to realize hard-dollar cost savings of $1,000 per day – more than $350,000 per year – when the system is fully implemented. The utility plans to use the Intergraph solution in both Florida and the Carolinas.

Intergraph provides field automation solutions for utilities, energy, and communications companies that design and manage transmission, distribution, and communications networks.

"Vegetation management is now one of the largest maintenance functions of electric utilities," said Hank Dipietro, Intergraph Vice President and General Manager of Utilities and Communications. "Intergraph has been delivering market-leading applications to the electric utility industry since our inception 40 years ago. Intergraph's Field Automation solutions for Vegetation Management and Inspection improve productivity, efficiency, reliability, and customer service."

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