The Wildfire Next Generation System (WiNGS) prioritizes mitigation efforts to help protect the region from the threat of wildfire
SAN DIEGO, March 24, 2023 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) was recently honored with a “2023 Chartwell Best Practices Award” for developing and using the Wildfire Next Generation System, or WiNGS, to help protect communities it serves from regionalwildfire risk.
“We’re very excited to present this award to SDG&E. Their Wildfire Next Generation System is exactly the kind of innovative program that Chartwell Awards were designed to highlight. We look forward to the opportunity for other utilities to learn from SDG&E’s experience at PowerUp this summer,” said Russ Henderson, Chartwell Director of Research.
WiNGS is a cloud-based tool that combines visual representations of SDG&E’s infrastructure with real-time weather data and information from wildfire mitigation initiatives, including but not limited to historical ignitions, tree strike analysis, wildfire modeling, Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) probability and critical customer locations. The state-of-the-art system models climate scenarios and recommends grid hardening initiatives, like prioritizing and strategically undergrounding power lines in high-risk areas, to help prevent utility-related wildfires, reduce the likelihood and duration of PSPS, and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
“We developed the Wildfire Next Generation System to provide decision makers with real-time information on scenarios and action plans to reduce the risk of wildfires during high winds and other extreme weather conditions,” said Ben Gordon, SDG&E Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer. “This system is also invaluable in making proactive decisions to prioritize wildfire prevention efforts.”
In November of 2021, SDG&E’s IT Digital Innovation team partnered with the Wildfire Mitigation team to create a proof of concept to explore two goals: 1) to use data and analytics to produce visualizations that support Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) decision-making by allowing users to run hypothetical scenarios based on changing requirements and parameters, like weather conditions and 2) support the Company’s Wildfire Mitigation Program investments by providing SDG&E leaders and scientists with a geospatial view of recommended mitigation actions and associated risk reduction.
"WiNGS has proven to be a vital tool to help us prioritize wildfire hardening projects based on robust fire science data and real-world situations,” said Brian D’Agostino SDG&E Vice President of Wildfire and Climate Science. “The intel it provides allows us to strategically make infrastructure improvements that will continue to help reduce the risk of wildfire, as well as the impacts to our customers during Public Safety Power Shutoffs in the future.”
WiNGS has become another important tool in SDG&E’s toolbox to reduce the chances of a utility-related wildfire and helps guide the development and implementation of its Wildfire Mitigation Plan (WMP) filed annually with the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety. The WMP outlines the ongoing practices and additional improvements SDG&E will make to combat the effects of climate change and year-round wildfire threats. For more information on SDG&E most recent WMP, please visit sdge.com/2022-wildfire-mitigation-plan.
About the Chartwell Best Practices Award
Founded in 1993 and based in Atlanta, Chartwell, Inc, provides strategic utility-focused research and issue-targeted forums for collaboration among industry peers. The Chartwell Best Practices Award recognizes excellence among electric and gas utilities with respect to projects, programs and service initiatives.
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 providing 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). For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.