Electric Utilities

Storm clouds over Burke Mountain, Northview Weather

Electric Utilities

Weather is the dominant cause of all power outages.

Northview will help you be smarter with weather. SkyRisk technology helps electric distribution companies prepare for snow, ice, and wind storms using new powerful insights. SkyRisk technology provides innovative tools to understand risk using an asset-based framework. This asset-based approach provides clear and actionable information for critical workforce decisions, helping to improve grid reliability.

Northview improves wet snow risk forecasting.

Conventional wisdom relies upon a critical snow-to-liquid (SLR) ratio to determine wet snow. SLR is problematic on multiple levels, as snow density does not physically describe the stickiness of snow, which is critical to the accretion and subsequent loading of wet snow. Based on our applied research with industry partners, a more effective technique for detecting wet snow relies on wet-bulb temperature. Wet-bulb temperature more closely approximates the physical processes that make snow sticky or wet. This method allows for better isolation of the timing and magnitude of wet snow loading on overhead lines and trees.

Northview produces the most accurate ice loading forecasts.

Some people call freezing rain Mother Nature’s “f” word. The resulting ice storms from freezing rain can cause catastrophic infrastructure failures and prolonged customer outages. Northview applies the latest science on ice forecasting to produce an industry-leading forecast for electric distribution and transmission. Based on system verification during the 2017-18 winter, our ice thickness forecasts were 20% more accurate than industry standards and extended up to 5 days ahead of the storm.

Probabilistic risk metrics are more accurate and actionable.

Wise people have said that “prediction is hard, especially about the future”. The best way to incorporate weather forecast uncertainty is to use a probabilistic approach. Northview has developed ensemble modeling systems to sample possible outcomes for snow, ice, and wind storms. Information that comes from these system is naturally more actionable for storm scenario planning, providing clear potential outcomes with levels of confidence. System testing shows that probabilistic prediction results in 10-20% forecast improvements of wind speed magnitude for damaging wind storms.

Northview predicts power outages.

Weather causes the majority of power outages. Northview has developed an outage prediction system for wet snow and ice storms, tied to our ensemble forecast systems. This system relates wet snow or ice loading to outage density. Verification showed an accuracy of 70% for high-stakes crew preparedness decisions.

Northview can provide outage prediction customization.

Northview can work with you to create a customized outage prediction system incorporating effects from weather (snow, ice, and wind), vegetation management, and asset characteristics. Outage prediction capabilities require sufficient data sharing, and an extended development and training period.