New Initiatives Include Creating a Fire Science and Innovation Lab and Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to Enhance Forecasting
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 15, 2019 – To adapt to the effects of our changing climate and threat of year-round wildfires, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is partnering with academia, government and public safety professionals to innovate and implement more advanced technologies designed to further improve wildfire safety in the region. Initial innovations include maximizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve situational awareness, a new Vegetation Risk Index and satellite enabled wildfire alerts.
SDG&E plans to open a Fire Science and Innovation Lab next year. The lab will bring together leading thinkers and problem solvers in academia, government and the community to create forward-looking solutions to help prevent ignitions, mitigate the impacts of fires, and ultimately help build a more resilient region. With this lab, SDG&E aims to lead the development of the next generation of fire science and wildfire innovation.
SDG&E’s deployment of the most highly concentrated network of weather stations and high definition cameras in the Country (Fire Safe 1.0), and the initial weather and fire models based on years of granular data (Fire Safe 2.0), lay the foundation for this next generation of innovations. “SDG&E is proud to announce the new innovations associated with Fire Safe 3.0 and continue our collaboration with other regional leaders to improve community safety,” said Scott Drury, president of San Diego Gas & Electric. “These advances, and the Fire Science and Innovation Lab opening next year reinforce our region’s leadership position in managing the risk of catastrophic wildfire. Most importantly, they make our communities safer.” Additional advancements announced today include:
• Artificial Intelligence (AI) AI-based predictive models will help increase accuracy of weather forecast, to help prevent powerline caused wildfires and allow the company to further mitigate impacts to customers.
• Vegetation Risk Index SDG&E is analyzing data from hundreds of thousands of trees, historical power outages and historical weather data to help prevent tree-related outages and tree related ignitions before they ever happen, reducing the risk of wildfires.
• Satellites Wildfire Alerts SDG&E is establishing the capability to identify and track wildfire activity from satellites in space, validating more precise wildfire location to help increase the safety of the electric infrastructure.
• High-Speed Weather Data SDG&E’s weather stations network, the world’s first utility network of its kind, is being rebuilt, enabling the capability to provide reads on temperature, humidity and wind every 30 seconds, instead of every 10 minutes. This increase facilitates more precise, data-driven decision making to keep communities safe.
• Wildfire Safety Community Advisory Council A new Wildfire Safety Community Advisory Council has been formed with a group of diverse local leaders from public safety, tribal government, business, nonprofit, and academic organizations. The council will provide feedback and recommendations on how SDG&E can continue to help protect the region from wildfires.
SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by currently providing around 45 percent of its electricity from renewable sources; modernizing natural gas pipelines; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; supporting numerous non-profit partners; and, investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.