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.
Implementation Yields Value
Union Power now proactively identifies and prioritizes workloads, analyzes costs, enhances system UVM, improves reliability, manages risk and makes more effective decisions. In effect, Arborcision has helped the cooperative to obtain the greatest value for the money spent. For UVM managers who need to request additional funding to keep lines up and vegetation out of the way, it provides supporting data in a visually simplistic manner that identifies areas to target as well as the potential cost of doing nothing at all.
Requiring little upfront work from Union Power, Arborcision maximizes field data collected by ACRT’s expert foresters by analyzing it to build a comprehensive system management plan to enable the cooperative to determine cost drivers and the future state of circuits, as well as the overall system; identify areas at risk of class jumping and their potential costs; develop proactive plans that use accurate quantitative data; evaluate contracting methods and their financial impact; and assess work crews for efficiency and value.
To perform one’s own statistically sound, sampling data-gathering effort could cost tens of thousands of dollars for even a small cooperative, but this would only allow the opportunity to generate a priority list for scheduling and some basic statistical analysis. Arborcision provides tenfold the information and presents it in an easy-to-understand format. It offers concise and clear intelligence that aids in decision-making processes, allowing UVM managers to choose which circuits to focus on and segments to target. At a quick glance, it provides information on steps that can have the most impact on reliability. This helps the UVM managers to work smarter and cooperatives to serve their members better.
Although Union Power has only used its insights and intelligence for less than a year, Arborcision has already proven to be a critical component of the cooperative’s right-of-way management program. The data has been invaluable to decision making, cost analysis and the establishment of targets. The tool is already well established at the cooperative as an integral piece of the ever-changing UVM puzzle.
Wil Ortiz (Wil.Ortiz@union-power.com) is manager of vegetation management for Union Power Cooperative. Ortiz’s duties extend beyond the rights-of-way to maintenance of vegetation around underground equipment and substations, as well as upkeep of cooperative-owned facilities. He has a bachelor’s degree in resources management/forestry from the State University of New York at Syracuse. He also is an active member of the International Society of Arboriculture and the North Carolina Urban Forest Council.
ACRT | www.acrtinc.com
Union Power | www.union-power.com