Aircraft technology used post Marcia by Ergon wins award

GROUND-BREAKING technology used by Ergon Energy in the aftermath of Cyclone Marcia has been recognised for its work.

Ergon Energy's ground-breaking development of the Roames aircraft-based laser and imaging geospatial system claimed top prize at the Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards.

The innovative new technology received the JM (Mac) Seriser Award for the best of the best in the industry, after earlier being presented with the award for Innovation and Commercialisation.

"Roames was also successfully deployed to help quickly assess damage from Cyclone Marcia in the Rockhampton region earlier this year, assisting us to plan our response and reduce power restoration times and costs," Ergon Energy Chief Executive Ian McLeod said.

Aerial mapping of the damage caused by the Cyclone to Ergon ‘s network in the Byfield area north of Yeppoon.
Aerial mapping of the damage caused by the Cyclone to Ergon ‘s network in the Byfield area north of Yeppoon.

"The end result is lower costs, improved safety and risk management, better customer service and a more reliable network."

 Mr McLeod said the world-first Roames system combined pioneering geospatial mapping techniques with accurate three-dimensional modelling to show precise electricity network locations in relation to buildings, trees and other objects.

"The solution automatically identifies asset and vegetation conditions that are outside our standards and generates works orders to rectify them," he said.

"Its accurate modelling and pinpoint locations have contributed to Ergon saving about $40 million on vegetation management costs in the first year.

Spatial Industries Business Association former Queensland and National Chairman David Sinclair, who presented the award, said the Roames project captured the imagination of the spatial industry almost from inception.

"The project was readily embraced by our forward thinkers in the research, government and private sectors and it has achieved impressive efficiency gains for Ergon Energy," he said.

"The project technology has expanded internationally into new commercial spheres as a part of the Fugro organisation."

As the Queensland award recipient, Ergon will now go on to the national judging with the other states' winners.

These awards continue the recognition for Ergon's Roames spatial intelligence solution after it received the highly prized EEI International Edison Award in the United States in June.

That award recognised "distinguished leadership, innovation, and contributions to the advancement of the electric industry for the benefit of all".

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