Virtual site visits, Hydro-One

The number of site visits in hard-to-reach northern regions has been reduced thanks to 3D surveys

Hydro One Networks Inc. must supply electricity throughout the province of Ontario, including many First Nations villages located in very remote northern regions. Many of their transmission and distribution substations require major maintenance work or must be expanded from time to time. Coordinating access and visits for many of their sites in remote or hard-to-reach regions can prove to be a complex task. To reduce the number of trips for surveys or site visits, Hydro-One set up a virtual visit station in its engineering office. Hydro-One retained the services of CIMA+ for a seven-year period through a public call for tenders to provide on-demand 3D scanner, drone and LiDAR surveys, along with three-dimensional photographic surveys of their infrastructure assets. To date, surveys have been conducted at more than 50 sites of various sizes. These surveys may be geopositioned or not, allow for precision measurement or not and be carried out using drones or ground-based equipment, depending on the needs and the context. Deliverables include Cintoo web access, treated raw data, Inventor- and AutoCAD-ready data and an independent virtual visit viewer compatible with various types of goggles.