International Wildfire Risk Mitigation Consortium (IWRMC)
A Collaborative Solution
The IWRMC is an industry-sponsored collaborative designed to facilitate the sharing of wildfire risk mitigation insights and discovery of innovative and unique utility wildfire practices from across the globe.
The program is led by a Utility Executive Steering Group, whose members are on the frontlines of the wildfire/bushfire issues in Australia and California:
Electric T&D company from Victoria, Australia with over 740,000 customers
Electric Distribution company serving the City of Melbourne, with over 800,000 customers
Electric T&D company serving Northern and Central California with over 5.4 million customers
Electric T&D company serving Southern California with over 5.1 million customers
Electric T&D company serving San Diego & Southern Orange Counties with over 1.4 million customers
To establish and facilitate a system of working and networking channels between members of the global utility community to support ongoing sharing of data, information, technology, and practices, and proactively address the wildfire issue through learning, innovation, analysis, assessment, and collaboration.
- Leverage global experience/ideas, and identify meaningful differences
- Accelerate learning, sharing, and the development of new risk models and mitigation strategies;
- Expedite data collection, validation, and evaluation
- Introduce new technology and advance the deployment of innovative solutions
- Enable members to lead the industry transformation
- Establish good standing with regulators and the community via the development of initiatives based on innovative global practices
- Establish global standards that can be leveraged by members to demonstrate a proactive, holistic, and responsible approach to risk mitigation
Working Group discussions cover many different topics and focus areas. Members routinely share their experiences and help to identify industry leading practices. Occasionally, members invite leading vendors who they have worked with to share more information on the products and services they offer in order to improve and expedite decision making for those exploring similar options.
Some recent topics explored & presentations made within the working groups include:
• Experiences with Risk-Based Asset Inspections
• Aerial Inspections, Smart Image Processing/Defect Identification
• Condition Assessments Using Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
• Experiences with Deployments of Covered Conductor
• Data Management/Mobility Solutions in VM
• Experiences with Risk-Based Vegetation Management
• Holistic Land Management Strategies
• Experiences with Ground-Based LiDAR, Satellite imagery, etc.
• Deploying Alternative Protection Techniques Based on Risk
• Advanced Weather Forecasting & Modeling
• Development of Multi-Attribute Value Frameworks
• Advanced Risk Modeling Approaches & Techniques
Operations & Protocols
• Tools for Grid-Edge Digital Orchestration & Optimization (DERMs)
• Lead Interventions for Prevention of Risk Events
• Power Shutoff Processes & Decision Criteria
• Power Shutoff Decision Support Tools & Processes
Examples of Topics to Be Explored
ADVANCED RISK MODELING
- Shared data for enhanced predictive power
- Demonstrable accuracy for stakeholder assurances
- Component level failure models to feed:
– Risk strategies,
– Evolution of design standards, and
– Operability assessment models (i.e. Line removals and readiness for return to service)
- Tuned to transmission realities, not retreads from Nuclear community
- Optimum use of drones in substations (safe approach distances, 3D models, etc.).
- Helicopters “at speed” with targeted HD image capture
– 1mm resolution from 100m distance
– 50 to 60 times the daily production of drones
– Less weather sensitivity
– Consistent image window facilitates year-on-year trend analysis
- Optimum Inspection practices and frequency
HAZARD TREE/RISK- AND RELIABILITY-BASED VEGETATION MANAGEMENT
- Region- and species-specific trim/prune methods
- Trim cycle optimization
- Reliability impacts
- Techniques & methodologies for deploying LiDAR (Aerial, Vehicle-mounted, etc. )
- Contracting strategies and supply chain issues
- Land access issues and community engagement
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND SUPPORT
- Remote/Microgrids & distributed energy
- Community outreach, public awareness, and communications efforts
- Disaster & emergency preparedness planning
- Public Safety Power Shut-offs & service restoration strategies
- Fire evacuation studies & analytical models
- Deployment of high-definition livestream cameras
- Partnerships with public entities and first responders
Program Web Portal
The Members-Only Web Portal is available to participants, providing access to:
- Industry Research & Analysis
– Annual Risk Mitigation Plans
– Academic Research
– Case Studies
– Interesting and Topical Articles from Respected News Sources
– Recent Conference Presentations
– Public Data from Utilities & Regulators, such as Risk Maps
– Regulatory Frameworks and Approaches
- A Secure Confidentiality Hub – participants can share documents, insights, feedback, etc. in a secure environment.
- Program Calendars – provides up-to-date information regarding meetings, webinars, etc.
Additional IWRMC Members
Benefits of Participating in the IWRMC
Strategic Influence. Determine priorities and deliverables with input to the governing bodies or committees
- Technical Influence. Drive modeling decisions and data/model refinement with participation in related committees
- Collaborative Research and Development. Develop risk models or tools at a lower cost and with a higher degree of confidence in the results by pooling resources (technical approaches, datasets, etc.)
- Early Access to Data and Results. Gain early access to information and enjoy a strategic advantage by sharing in data/practices that you might otherwise not possess working alone.
Similar to CEATI and EPRI, the IWRMC program offers both core program components and optional modules that will vary from quarter to quarter.
- Working Groups, as established by the (IWRMC) Steering Group, focus attention on the most pressing issues and the most valuable collaborative opportunities.
- News & Research Web Portal updated and curated weekly with the latest wildfire/bushfire-related news, academic research, regulations, and mitigation plans from utilities around the world.
- Surveys of Industry Peers to gather insights into the processes, methodologies, tools, and standards utilized by utilities to support their wildfire risk mitigation activities.
- Deep-Dive Analyses using public and/or member-contributed data and supported by UMS Group’s expert analytic and modeling teams.
- Case Studies to communicate relevant experiences and provide lessons learned to the broader industry.
- Quarterly Webinars to share Working Group progress and insights, and to present new and interesting concepts to your industry peers.
- Annual Report & Conference to present progress on annual program objectives, highlight the most impactful insights gained, strengthen industry relationships and solicit feedback from participants.
Research Projects. To explore specific topics and investigate ideas that have not been pursued, or have been insufficiently pursued to date, by the industry or academia.
- Joint Development Projects. To pool resources, coordinate data collection, and document real-world results in the pursuit of new ideas, approaches, and innovations.
- New Technology & Tools. To explore the vendor landscape, broaden the dataset of real-world experiences, and utilize collective leverage to deploy new tools and technologies quickly and affordably.
- Benchmarking, Analysis & Performance Metrics. To better understand your organization’s performance relative to the industry, or track progress over time, in relation to highly specific topics or activities.
“Learning from the experiences of others saves us time and money… I don’t need to waste my time trying things that others have already proven to be ineffective.”
“UMS Group’s facilitation of the IWRMC is essential… it’s too easy to get distracted with the priorities of today and lose sight of the issues that may arise tomorrow.”
“It’s reassuring to hear that others are facing the same challenges that we are facing.”
“Wildfires are not a “California” issue… they’re a global issue.”
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