Pacific Gas and Electric Company
The evolution of geospatial, mission critical enterprise systems has changed the way the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) currently thinks and operates the utility. About a decade ago, PG&E completed the transition from operating its assets using paper maps and procedures to fully digital spatial-based workflows. Since then, PG&E has continued on that journey by modernizing its systems, workflows and data processes through the use of mobile applications, visualization and analytics and GIS-based sharing tools.
More recent changes in the business, due to evolution of regulatory, environmental and societal expectations, have presented a need for increased digital capabilities, further allowing PG&E to take advantage of its prior foundational GIS investments. The overall approach has translated to improved safety and situational awareness; data availability and integrity; productivity and collaboration; and has led to exciting innovations. Expansive teams—comprised of GIS business and technical experts—work together to enable critical infrastructure data access to approximately 26,000 coworkers. PG&E’s latest work includes the development of an innovative remote sensing data platform that provides access to more than 50 million images, point clouds and videos.
Established in 1905, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) provides electric and gas service to 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in California. PG&E is one of the oldest and largest utilities in the United States. They are committed to the statement that “everyone and everything is always safe.”
PG&E is modernizing its systems, workflows and data processes, with the business and IT divisions together deploying an enterprise GIS built on scalable and reliable infrastructure. Their GeoHub internal ArcGIS Hub site provides access to valuable enterprise applications and includes authoritative datasets that allow staff to build and deploy GIS apps.
The Electric Distribution GIS (EDGIS) application helps employees leverage many business processes, allowing them to conduct work more efficiently from the office, and improve customer satisfaction.
Field personnel leverage Maps+ to quickly access information necessary for their job on a mobile device. This application streamlines the data collection process and provides situational awareness of conditions previously recorded by other PG&E staff in the field, such as hazards.
Gas assets are required to be collected within a six-inch accuracy. Automated Field data collection in ArcGIS Field Maps helps the gas operations team collect multiple features in a single process and plays a critical role in responding to real-time events that impact the safety of their communities.
PG&E maintains a 24/7 Hazard Awareness and Warning Center (HAWC) web application that provides the company with valuable situational awareness, pulling together real-time feeds from weather, live cameras, current outages and PG&E truck locations to respond to critical events.
PG&E keeps partner agencies informed of any potential power shut-offs through the Public Safety Power Shut-off (PSPS) portal, providing authorized partners secure information specific to their area. The public-facing Outage Center also allows customers access to outage information from PG&E.
Traditionally, PG&E used 2D mapping to view the location of its assets. With the Remote Sensing Data Platform, the team created a system of record for PG&E’s images, Lidar and videos and can now view the components in 3D with full context of the location and its surroundings. This process has helped PG&E index and catalog millions of images for use across the organization.
PG&E is increasing the productivity of substation inspections by 150% by using the Substation Inspection tool. This tool allows them to create a 3D model of the substation using drone imagery so inspectors can remotely review the substation and issue work orders to repair defects.