What is in this article?:
Union Power sorts out the ever-changing utility vegetation management puzzle by using new software to refine cost analysis, decision-making and target establishment.
Arborcision measures a complex adaptive system that acknowledges that managing a UVM program is not the same as managing a forest. Socio-economic data, weather, geography and system legacy are essential to understanding the underlying dynamics and finding the correct solution required by complex adaptive systems.
Application Drives Action
Driven by its mission to provide safe and reliable power with exceptional value, Union Power began using Arborcision from ACRT Inc. The service-as-a-software (SaaS) application provides valuable intelligence that helps Union Power’s UVM team determine better ways to manage systems and circuits, helping to drive more effective decisions with spending while improving overall reliability. Arborcision empowers the cooperative’s UVM leaders with the ability to make more informed decisions, because it provides the entire gamut of data intelligence necessary to effectively manage the program in an easy-to-use, comprehensible format.
The new tool incorporates targeted, utility-specific data to succinctly delineate a course of action for improvement. It also incorporates comparisons against other utilities of similar composition, referred to as cohorts. By combining real-life circuit samplings and proven algorithms, Arborcision provides Union Power powerful insights into its vegetation management program and shows how it compares to others. The information offers a real-time snapshot that tells where the cooperative is headed and what improvements can be made. Additionally, the SaaS application is updated regularly and has been tested thoroughly in real-life scenarios to ensure maximum functionality and benefit to users.
The insights offered through Arborcision are unprecedented and have helped make a positive impact on the cooperative’s UVM program in a short time. Union Power expects the new tool will guide its UVM decisions for years to come.
Data Shows Progress
According to recent data offered through Arborcision, Union Power is in the 33% range. This indicates the cooperative is performing in an average manner but is moving in the right direction toward additional improvements and greater reliability. Union Power, in a cohort of a half dozen of its peers, is focusing on the right circuits.
Arborcision also notes Union Power’s efficiency savings dividend (ESD), which helps to determine future improvements that can be made to the system by indicating what future costs — in the current cycle — are avoided by trimming a circuit this year rather than deferring until later in the cycle. The ESD already has helped Union Power to be more successful in managing its overall program by offering reliable data that can be presented to the board of directors and others who approve spending.
In a perfect world, once a cyclic program is established, it would merely require a repeat of the pattern over and over ad infinitum. Union Power has learned, time and time again, that the complex adaptive nature of conditions encountered in vegetation management make the projected cycle a moving target. Weather influences have presented the greatest impact to the work that can be scheduled, completed and afforded, and the greatest focus often was a stressful time-consuming and concerted effort to identify the objects that would end up having the least negative impact on system reliability.