There’s a critical demand for renewable energy to address climate change and an uptick of people buying electric vehicles (EVs). Electric utility providers must keep up with demand, and many are faced with building new networks or upgrading existing ones to satisfy modern requirements. GIS-based asset management can help utility companies get ahead of the curve.
Here are four ways electric utilities can benefit from GIS-based asset management.
1. View and maintain asset health
With GIS-based asset management, operators can view their network assets layer by layer in a single view or even create a digital twin of the entire network. Beyond simply visualizing assets, a digital twin is a virtual representation of the complete physical network, including the electrical connections between the electrical assets. Driven by AI, it allows operators to monitor assets, assess their health, predict and prevent malfunctions, and plan where and when to perform maintenance.
2. Expand to new technologies and renewable energy
Electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace all over the world, and renewable energy technology is in higher demand. GIS-based asset management aids with the planning of solar and wind farms as well as co-generation, geothermal and waterfall energy harnessing. GIS capabilities can be used to determine asset placement such as the ideal roof orientation for solar panels. They also leverage location-based data to aid in the reinforcement of existing electricity networks (or the planning and building of new ones) to increase capacity to support EV charging stations.
3. Grow with current customers and reach new ones
The way customers are consuming electricity is evolving rapidly. The demand is not as predictive as in the past because of local production and permanent consumption from electric cars. Therefore, electric utilities must anticipate the evolution of their grid through the balancing of their network and the construction of new substations. While electric utilities may not oversee the installation of EV charging stations, creating vendor relationships can help city planning become a more collaborative experience.
4. Greater customer communication
Customers rely on electric utilities for day-to-day activities at home and at work. GIS-based asset management allows utility providers to produce maps that show customers where outages are and give estimates on restoration. It can also be used to give customers notifications about scheduled maintenance or send location-based alerts. These alerts could be useful for companies that need to schedule maintenance or that offer hybrid work schedules to prepare employees to work around any disruptions. As a consequence, GIS-based asset management enables also predictive maintenance for the electric utilities. Outages happening regularly in the same geographic zones help the electric companies to identify source of failure and to target efficiently the assets to maintain with higher priority.
GIS-based asset management technology enables utilities to maintain a definitive source of reliable, location-based information about their networks and connectivity and share this data with users and systems across the enterprise. Learn more about Hexagon’s utilities and communications solutions, including Intergraph G/Technology.