Serving the energy industry for over 30 years
By - Danielle Duignan

Better Capital Allocation for Utility Pole Storm Hardening
January 22, 2019 | Online :: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Eastern



The preparation for and response to storms is a normal part of business for an electric utility. It’s your job to apply the precious capital of your utility towards hardening the network in preparation for the next big event. Less capital applied to planning and design means more capital for actual network improvements. As you plan for improvements to your aerial distribution network you need to know the location of your compromised utility poles and the most cost-effective remedy for these poles. The universal problem for all utilities is that traditional methods for pole surveys, pole load analysis and design are time consuming and erodes available capital for materials and construction necessary to harden your network.

The technology and methods for creating digital twin pole records now exist and are dramatically reducing the time and cost associated with designing solution for hardening the aerial portion of your network. The result is that utilities can accelerate plans for hardening networks because they know the location of problem poles faster, and they have more capital to allocate towards fixing the problem. Now that hundred-year storms are occurring with far greater frequency the allocation of capital toward hardening is becoming more and more critical. The goal of this webinar is to explore how technology, process and people are being applied to creating digital twin pole records that accelerate and reduce the cost of aerial distribution design for storm hardening. We begin with an exploration of the anatomy of a digital twin pole record coming from 5 million measurements and over 10 years of experience in pole data collection and analysis. We translate that record as a critical tool for storm hardening including reduction in cost, speed of pole data acquisition and the power of pole record knowledge. Finally, we explore the most efficient way of moving the digital twin pole record through the design process in a case study for a large electric utility in the SE United States.

A large electrical utility in the SE struggled with their storm hardening strategy.  Having been heavily impacted by recent storms they needed to have reliable, empirical data to better allocate their time and capital budget for storm hardening their utility network.  Relying on traditional methods for site inspection, pole assessment and pole loading and design yielded slow, inconsistent and inaccurate results that never provided enough answers for their executives to make confident decisions.  Using modern field techniques and services, the utility was able to accelerate to better answers by quickly identifying at risk poles reducing the cost of their network hardening assessment of poles by 70% and increased the delivery speed for design by 2X.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the anatomy of a complete digital twin pole record
  • Discuss direct impacts that a pole record can have on network robustness
  • Assess the richness of data associated with digital pole records
  • Review looking at your network asset data as a single source of truth


  • Understanding the anatomy of a complete and accurate digital twin pole record
  • The applicability of a complete and accurate pole record in keeping the lights on after catastrophic storms and other natural disasters
  • The recommended approach on where to begin the storm hardening process
  • How to achieve data completeness and integrity over the short and long term


James Pardue, Senior Vice President of Sales, ikeGPS 

James is the Senior Vice President of Sales at ikeGPS. He is a geospatial technology industry veteran with 26-years of distinguished service at the world’s leading geospatial firms including Space Imaging, TomTom and now ikeGPS. James has a passion to change the way people explore, experience and collect information about our world. At ikeGPS James is leading that change with dynamic field location, measurement and analytics solutions.


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