“A particularly promising example of the kind of collective, cross-sector response needed to address this issue comes in the form of utility companies opening grid data up to competitors and even customers. Western Power Distribution has launched an open-access web portal offering detailed data on everything from consumption to generation across its network. The City of London is also working with utility companies to create a combined on-demand digital map of its subterranean pipes and cables where workers can see nearby underground infrastructure on mobile phones or laptop computers before a dig.
Geospatial data on the location and condition of frozen gas pipes could help to protect other underground infrastructure and avert disasters. Data predicting how vegetation growth might impact electricity lines could help a telecoms network operator anticipate potential interference with millimeter waves from nearby 5G antennae. In another example, we are working to integrate IBM Weather Group’s LIDAR and satellite data with geospatial network information to help electrical utilities predict and prevent encroachment on electric transmission and distribution lines….
The trend towards data sharing requires an industry-wide step-change in the capture and curation of data to ensure all companies have a comprehensive, current picture of their networks and use geospatial information systems built around open design principles. This would ensure a consistent standard of network data is captured and shared across the industry. Rich, real-time, and open data can help foster a utility sector built around cooperation that facilitates a higher standard of network resilience despite the challenging environmental issues we face today.”