Grid Resiliency and Preparedness as Wildfire Season Approaches

Wildfire Risk
By Peter Londa
CEO Tantalus

Utilities everywhere are feeling pressure from all kinds of challenges. Aging grid infrastructure means that grid assets are increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather like storms and wildfires. At the same time, many utilities are feeling pressure to modernize their grids to protect against weather-related threats despite budgetary constraints to rip and replace existing infrastructure.

As temperatures start rising again with winter coming to a close, many utilities are thinking about wildfire season and the threats it poses.

Because much of the U.S. grid infrastructure is antiquated, not only is it at serious risk of starting destructive wildfires, but utilities may not even know that their grid assets could be causing them — because there is only limited visibility across the grid.

Over the past couple years, several devastating fires were started because of outdated grid infrastructure. Only a couple years ago, the California Camp Fire killed 85 people as California’s deadliest fire on record, causing the responsible utility to pay $13.5 billion in damages — and there are more recent and devastating fires, too. With the U.S. Forest Service reporting that electricity transmission and distribution lines have ignited more than 32,000 wildfires in the U.S. from 1992 to 2020 alone, it’s clear that the grid’s aging infrastructure needs serious investment.

While utilities are confronting increasing risks of wildfires while also maintaining aging infrastructure, Tantalus is working with an increasing number of utilities to harness the power of data to modernize the grid and proactively mitigate risks.

The TRUSense Gateway™ acts as the foundation for visibility into the grid, offering real-time data and insights into what’s going on across your entire grid.

TRUSync™ Grid Data Management makes use of the data accessed by the TRUSense Gateway and offers command and control across your entire grid, so utilities can understand what is unfolding and proactively respond when there’s a problem — like a downed, sparking power line.

The TRUGrid™ Automation suite of analytics and applications allows utilities to pinpoint failing assets, such as transformers, through power quality data. By identifying stressed or failing assets in advance, utilities can proactively resolve vulnerabilities and harden the grid.

With wildfire season approaching soon, utilities need the visibility, command and control to monitor their grid in real time and react when something goes wrong, and Tantalus has the data-driven solutions for that. To learn more about the solutions that Tantalus offers, click here.

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