Chile launches Geographic Information System for Risk Management in Energy

Friday, December 21, 2018

Energy Alert is called the Geographic Information System for Energy Risk Management, launched this morning by the Minister of Energy, Susana Jiménez , together with the President of the Board of Directors of the National Electrical Coordinator, Juan Carlos Olmedo; the Executive Director (I) of the organization, Ernesto Huber, as well as authorities of Onemi , Conaf , the Superintendence of Electricity and Fuels, and executives of the Association of Electric Companies AG and the National Federation of Electric Cooperatives.

" Energía Alerta is a permanent monitoring platform (24/7) of forest fires, which detects threats to the electrical infrastructure of our country.This new system is key to respond quickly and timely and in coordination with other public and private institutions. "Minister Susana Jiménez affirmed.

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This, in reference to the collaborative work carried out with the aforementioned public and private institutions, that allowed to carry out this project.

So far, this season has 40% fewer burning areas compared to last year. Conaf has reported 941 forest fires, which affected nearly 3,000 hectares throughout the country.

The 2016-2017 season was very severe, as nearly 560,000 hectares were burned, almost 100% more than the average of hectares affected in the last five years, they caused enormous damage in several regions of the country, and the death of 10 people.

How "Alert Energy" works

Energía Alerta has a map that shows Onemi's alerts online in the face of meteorological, volcanic, forest fire and storm surge threats.

Another potential of the platform is that it provides information on wind projections and the probability of ignition.

In the center of the screen you can see the electrical infrastructure characterized by colors according to its criticality, and shows in real time the location of the fires, their status (if controlled, in combat or extinct), and the affected surface .

One aspect worth noting is that this platform is held online by ONEMI, CONAF, the SEC, the National Electric Coordinator and the electricity companies, so that risks can be detected in time and contingency plans activated.

In practical terms, it allows electricity companies to send crews of workers to analyze risks and make immediate repairs in case of damage to the infrastructure; and the Coordinator to make energy dispatch decisions.

"Summer is coming and forest fires always haunt us, affecting, even, electrical infrastructure as transmission lines." Alert Energy allows to systematize and deliver information of interest for decision making, mainly in the preparation, alert and episode response stages. of risk ", highlighted Susana Jiménez.

The Head of Energy also commented that this platform "has already alerted 62 fires near electrical infrastructure, mainly in the Metropolitan, Valparaíso and O'Higgins regions, half of which was generated near critical facilities, that is, high Impact on the population Thanks to early detection and timely response, damage to the infrastructure and interruption of power supply was avoided. "

"In summary, Energía Alerta helps us deliver a better service of the electricity supply to people, because it continuously monitors the transmission and distribution of electricity, and detects at the time any forest fire risk in the vicinity of said infrastructure", Minister Jiménez pointed out.

The importance of coordinated work

Juan Carlos Olmedo , president of the Board of Directors of the National Electrical Coordinator, indicated that "this system is already being used by the engineers of the Coordinator's Dispatch and Control Center, and is a very relevant source of information for the management of the risks associated with fires and other natural disasters that can affect the electrical infrastructure, mainly transmission lines and sub stations ".

For his part, Andrés Ibaceta , chief of the Civil Protection Division of ONEMI, highlighted that "the work of territorial information management is one of the important pillars as a complement to Disaster Risk Management." ONEMI has a database of territorial information of all sectors, which is quite important because it allows us to make decisions both to simulate emergency situations and risk scenarios, as well as to make decisions in emergency situations ".

In turn, the executive director of the Association of Electrical Companies AG, Rodrigo Castillo , commented that "the advances in this platform respond to the valuable work that has been done in this public-private table, which allows us from now to have a permanent access As an industry, we believe that the coordination of all the agents involved in an emergency situation is essential to give a timely and effective response to it. "

In that same line, Cristián Espinosa , general manager of the National Federation of Electric Cooperatives, Fenacopel, said that "we believe that this initiative is highly relevant, because cooperatives are subject to risk, because they distribute in the most rural areas of 5 regions of the country, with the presence of trees and other elements of nature, through which their lines pass, having an information system, added to the coordination of all the relevant actors, are actions that go in the right direction, helping greatly measure to generate greater prevention ".

Along with assessing the initiative, Jack Nahmías , head of the SEC's Electricity Generation and Transportation Department, explained that "we hope that this new tool will contribute to the management of the National Electric Coordinator, in the task of adequately addressing the risks, and thus ensuring a continuous and safe electrical supply ".

This National Electrical Coordinator release was published using an automatic translation system.