Fugro digitises power network management in New Zealand


Innovative spatial analytics technology reduces time required to inspect NZ power network.

Fugro digitises power network management in New Zealand
Spatial analytics provided ROAMES™ technology reduces the time required to inspect NZ power network.

World-leading geo-data specialist Fugro has delivered a digitised power network management system to Waipa Networks (Waipa) in New Zealand, improving safety and reliability across their entire distribution network.

Waipa, assisted by Utilligent, a utilities management consulting firm, chose Fugro to modernise their asset management framework based on the enhanced network insights Fugro’s technology could provide. Fugro’s ROAMES™ technology, a network risk model, is now allowing Waipa to visualise and mitigate ground clearance threats, vegetation encroachment issues, structural safety distances risks, dangerous pole leans and any asset defects.

The project was completed in three phases. Firstly, Utilligent helped Waipa select Fugro and the ROAMES™ product suite to develop a 3D virtual world asset model to collect and store lidar and pole top imagery geo-data. Next, Fugro and Utilligent worked closely to develop a business intelligence tool, which was used to prioritise and mitigate issues, risks, and defects. Finally, although GPS coordinates existed for each asset, the project served as a great opportunity to update anomalies and create a “Record of Truth” for Waipa. This new level of accuracy gives them the tools and insight to expedite work orders and supports Waipa’s mission to provide cost-effective and reliable systems for electricity and other services.

Peter Armstrong, Waipa’s network asset manager, said: “The aerial survey programme and the associated data analytic tools have given us a comprehensive view of our overhead network data and condition that we have never had before. Meanwhile, the Fugro ROAMES™ analytic outcomes are driving actional reporting, which will greatly assist in our ongoing management of the assets.”

Jay Reseigh, Utilligent’s vice president, data and analytics, said: “This type of project has transformed the industry. Gone are the days of walking the lines and taking photographs of poles from the ground, which often takes years. The spatial analytics provided by Fugro ROAMES™ dramatically reduce the time required to inspect the network, allowing Waipa to quickly identify hazardous scenarios and set the foundation for utilities’ advanced distribution management system programmes. The business case speaks for itself.”