Vegetation Management Challenges
According to Power Grid, Utility Vegetation Management (UVM) is often the single largest line item in an electric utility’s annual operating budget. The cost of UVM continues to grow, as do trees and shrubs accelerated by torrential rains which can turn to fuel by extended droughts. Vegetation is increasingly encroaching onto rights-of-way of many power companies and can interfere with the equipment and substations that energize them Technologies. For larger utilities, the costs of UVM can exceed $100 million USD annually, with the extreme case being the state of California, where despite what seems to be regular vegetation-caused outages, utilities spend over a billion dollars a year just on preventive UVM. California requires utility companies to inspect their facilities on a yearly basis, which is a huge manpower expense. The state spends hundreds of millions of dollars to verify there are no trees within a certain distance of conductors.
Utility Vegetation Management (UVM) is a vital and ongoing endeavor for electric utility providers. Unwanted vegetation near power lines must be controlled to maintain public safety, prevent related power outages, and avoid powerline-triggered wildfires Technologies. However, UVM is costly, often one of the largest line items in a utility’s operating budget.
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Modernizing Utility Vegetation Management with Mobile Technologies