SP Energy Networks (SPEN) is to launch what it claims is the most advanced 3D digital modelling of the UK’s electricity grid.
The distribution network operator is to introduce virtual technology from Fugro, which will see the Geo-data firm develop a model of SPEN’s complete overhead line network using 3D models and advanced analytics as part of a three-year contract.
The model will reduce the risk of power cuts by identifying where vegetation and other external factors may disrupt the network.
Fugro will capture lidar data, which uses laser light to sample the Earth’s surface, and aerial imagery to create the 3D representation of the distribution network, which it claims will be accurate down to the centimetre.
The model will provide a digital foundation for asset inspections, reducing the number of onsite surveys and audits. It follows a 2014 trial exploring digital modelling of energy networks.
SPEN also announced this year plans for an EV modelling tool, EV Up, to better understand where EV demand is likely to come from.
Scott Mathieson, network planning and regulation director at SP Energy Networks, said Fugro’s solution will allow obstructions to be identified as soon as possible before its customers are impacted.
“With the ever-increasing electricity demand in the UK, and the security and stability of our infrastructure that that requires, it’s never been more important to be as agile and proactive as possible with our asset management,” he added.