Essential Energy use innovative technology to manage vegetation

Australian energy distributor Essential Energy has contracted NM Group to map, analyse and report on vegetation risks which could pose future safety and reliability issues across its overhead electricity network. The program will use innovative remote sensing and 3D modelling technologies around nearly 85,000 km of powerline. This will enable improved prioritisation and planning of vegetation management activities around the powerline network.

The project will use aerial LiDAR survey to collect and process data across an area of almost 160,000 km2, spread across regional and rural NSW. A range of powerful techniques turn network data into intelligent 3D models, facilitating precise measurements and reporting – such as any location where a tree has the potential to grow into powerlines and present a safety or power outage risk. This information is presented in an immersive 3D environment called Caydence®, which is accessed via a web browser, enabling Essential Energy to make informed decisions from the desktop.

Shane Brunker, NM Group Technical Director, commented on the project, “We are thrilled to have been selected by Essential Energy to carry out this work, given the importance of maintaining a safe and reliable electricity network. As innovators in our respective industry spaces, I look forward to pushing the envelope with Essential Energy and showing how we can further enhance operational management of the electricity network using remote sensing, cloud and 3D visualisation.”

Essential Energy’s General Manager Network Services, Luke Jenner, said, “We are always looking for ways to deliver electricity in a more reliable and cost effective way. This project with NM Group shows our continual focus on innovation as a way of improving the safety, reliability and efficiency of the electricity network.”

About NM Group:

NM Group ( is a specialist service provider of asset management, survey and mapping solutions to the power sector. Applying a range of remote sensing and geospatial technologies, the company offers a full range of services from data acquisition through to analytics and web applications for wider access to information.

About Essential Energy:

Essential Energy is a NSW Government-owned corporation, with responsibility for building, operating and maintaining one of Australia’s largest electricity networks – delivering essential network services to more than 800,000 homes and businesses across 95 per cent of NSW and parts of southern Queensland.

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