SA Power Networks, Adelaide South Australia

Large-scale asset capture project supports SA Power Networks planned implementation of a new fault
dispatch system and Geographic Information System (GIS) upgrade

Business Challenge
SA Power Networks (formerly ETSA Utilities) operates a distribution network that stretches across South Australia, and delivers power to more than 800,000 residential and business customers.

SA Power’s network has a route length of around 87,000 kilometres, which includes 399 zone substations, more than 68,000 transformers and over 723,000 ‘Stobie’ poles (a steel/concrete power pole unique to South Australia that evolved from having a lack of forests that could readily supply trees for poles).

SA Power’s Network Facilities division identified that accurate asset information would be a pre-requisite to the success of the company’s planned dispatch system and enterprise GIS upgrade. While having the internal expertise to capture the asset data, SA Power Networks lacked the
capacity to capture the data in time for the introduction of the new system upgrade. SA Power Networks identified that Geomatic Technologies (GT’s) expertise at largescale field asset capture along with its proven methodologies would deliver the high quality results needed in the most cost effective and timely manner.

Services Overview
GT was required to accurately position (±1m) assets such as poles, conductors, service connections and transformers. Important attribute information was collected at each pole location, with up to 37 attributes being collected per pole. It was this level of data collection that would enable SA Power Networks to build an accurate and functional GIS for management of its assets.

GT’s team was comprised of surveyors equipped with 4WDrive vehicles, differential GPS or Global Positioning System satellite positioning units, laser range instruments and in-car computer equipment to undertake the massive asset capture project. Two field teams were rotated through each of the State’s larger rural towns. Each team mapped the surrounding area using GT’s own Asset Inspection and Mapping System (AIMS). AIMS is a technology platform that can be tailored for a wide range of mapping needs and can be installed on a range of vehicles or carried by hand.

GT implemented a strict environmental awareness policy, including minimising vehicle movements in areas of high conservation value and undertaking regular wash downs of vehicles to reduce the risk of spreading diseases and weeds through sensitive areas such as in grape growing districts.

GT delivered to the client 35 blocks of data covering rural South Australia, two weeks in advance of the actual project deadline.

GT’s large-scale asset capture activities on SA Power Networks rural power assets delivered the following outcomes:
–  The introduction of the new dispatch system and GIS      upgrade was able to proceed on time.
–  The new dispatch system could rely on high quality asset  information so that response times  to fix supply disruptions  could be improved.
–  The high quality and accuracy of the data supplied  minimised SA Power Networks need to  quality assure the data, saving the client time and costs.
–  The survey delivered well-structured spatial data that  could be imported to SA Power  Networks GIS and asset management systems.