Endeavour Energy pioneers Neara digital twin in transition to modern grid
13 December 2021
Endeavour Energy is the first electricity network in Australia to deploy an engineering grade digital twin to combat the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events.
“We are committed to being at the forefront of the energy transformation by embracing digital innovation,” said Endeavour Energy’s Chief Asset & Operating Officer Scott Ryan. “In partnership with leading cloud-based engineering analytics platform Neara, we’re digitizing our systems and embracing new ways to provide a safer, more resilient and affordable electricity supply in line with our customers’ changing energy needs. This includes investing in digital tools to make agile decisions to manage a vast network, as we transform to a modern grid which enables two-way power flows and greater choices for customers.”
“With a full 3D virtual model of the network to be developed by mid-2022, we will leverage the broad capabilities of the Neara platform to manage network critical infrastructure with greater insight to deliver enhanced operational efficiency and better reliability outcomes for customers.”
Mr. Ryan said that Neara’s digital twin platform was capable of processing large amounts of data quickly to enable Endeavour Energy to make better, faster and more accurate engineering decisions.
“The digital twin uses LiDAR* data captured from helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and vehicles and links it with network data to generate an engineering-grade digital 3D network model,” Mr. Ryan said. “We already use this type of 3D digital modelling to better assess the bushfire risk of 12,000 kilometers of power lines and 160,000 poles to repair potential hazards in bushfire-prone areas covering nearly half of the Endeavour Energy network.”
“While piloting Neara’s platform, we were able to simulate the impact of major flooding in the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers in late March to help restore power to affected customers in a safe and timely manner. Rather than wait for visual inspections after the floodwaters receded, we were able to reduce inspection times by digitally modelling the impacts. By using this technology, we eliminated 300 hours of inspection time and targeted our response to the customers that needed our assistance the most,” Mr. Ryan said.
Due to their industry leadership in digital innovation, Neara’s Chief Commercial Officer Jack Curtis said they were excited to be partnering with Endeavour Energy.
“The results of our initial collaboration have validated our focus on solving complex, high value problems for our customers. We look forward to continuing to support Endeavour Energy’s primary goal of providing safer, more reliable and affordable electricity supply to the community,” Mr. Curtis said.
Mr Ryan said digitalization was a game changer for electricity networks who could now harness advanced analytics, risk modelling, and asset reports for networks spread over vast areas supplying millions of customers.
“Our customers are becoming more dependent on safe and reliable electricity every day in a world where a changing climate is impacting more and more on essential electricity supply,” Mr. Ryan said. “We believe our partnership with Neara is helping to future-proof Endeavour Energy’s critical infrastructure to meet our customer needs now and well into the future.”
Facts about the Endeavour Energy network
- supplies safe, reliable and affordable power to over 2.5 million people living and working in Sydney’s Greater West, the Blue Mountains, the Southern Highlands, Illawarra and the South Coast of NSW
- customer base spans over 25,000 square kilometers
- is made up of more than 430,000 power poles and streetlight columns, 202 major substations and 32,600 distribution substations
- connected by nearly 60,600 kilometers (more than the distance from Sydney to London and back) of underground and overhead cables
- integrates with renewable energy sources including 200,000 residential solar connections, industrial solar and embedded large-scale batteries.
About Endeavour Energy
Endeavour Energy is a safety focused and customer-centered business determined to be the best performing electricity network in Australia. Due to rapid industry changes, Endeavour Energy is transitioning from a traditional ‘poles and wires’ business to a distributed services operator and is working with customers, stakeholders and regulators to help deliver a clean energy future where smart meters, batteries and solar enable customers to generate, store and sell back electricity into the grid.
*LiDAR stands for “light detection and ranging” technology which uses the pulse from a laser to collect very accurate measurements to create 3D models of objects and environments to create virtual models.
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