Point4, the UK leader in the effective and efficient mitigation of tree risk to critical infrastructure, announces that it has been awarded a grant by the European Space Agency's (“ESA”) Business Applications Programme.


This grant will be used to support a jointly funded €2.1M project, within the Artes 20 programme, to better manage network risk to power distribution services from vegetation growth. The project will run until March 2020 and so far includes two of the UK’s distribution network operators (“DNOs”): UK Power Networks and Scottish Power Energy Networks.

The project will show how vegetation growth and the associated risk to power infrastructure can be managed proactively through better analysis and interpretation of LiDAR (Light detection and Ranging) and Earth Observation data from satellites.  The rich information in these geospatial datasets can assist in maintaining service availability by reducing outages caused by the impact of tree growth, storms and fires, while also significantly reducing maintenance costs.

Point4 uses patented predictive modelling drawn from LiDAR and satellite data to map, analyse and identify the potential risks to power networks from tree growth. This helps to ensure the efficient and effective control of tree growth, reducing risk, delivering greater regulatory compliance and generating substantial cost savings.

As part of the project, Point4 is partnering with Inmarsat, the satellite services operator, and Galaxy1 Communications, an Inmarsat distribution partner, to provide space segment services, including transferring onsite geo-spatial data via Inmarsat’s BGAN satellite network.


Martin Stanley, CEO of Point4, said:

“The risks to power networks from trees are costly and complex to manage. This project allows Point4 to use satellite technology to reduce the cost of data acquisition and enhance growth modelling to enable improved risk mitigation. Our network operator customers will benefit from better, more proactive, vegetation management, thereby delivering significant improvements in service availability to consumers while reducing costs.”

Gonzalo Martin de Mercado, Studies Manager of the European Space Agency, said:

“This is an exciting use of satellite technology to capture hard to access data accurately and cost effectively. We look forward to working with Point4 to further develop its potential.”

Peter Lang from the Innovation Team at UK Power Networks said:

“This is a really sophisticated approach to managing a challenging issue that impacts on many of our overhead lines that run through thickly wooded areas in the countryside. Our priority is to maintain safe and reliable electricity supplies and this approach could save our customers money on unnecessary work while being better for the environment.”


For further information:

Nick Bastin 07931 500066 nick.bastin@ravenscourtcoms.co.uk

Notes to Editors

  • More than 300,000 kilometres of power lines need to be surveyed each year costing more than £30m.
  • Ofgem estimates that vegetation management will cost the industry more than £1bn between 2015 – 2023

About Point4

Point4 is the UK leader in the effective and efficient mitigation of tree risk to critical infrastructure. We combine in-field expertise with patented, big data analysis to deliver practical end-to-end solutions. Our patented multi-layered analysis allows tree by tree assessment, validation and audit, and delivers 3D visualisation which is operationally efficient and highly directional for in-field teams. Point4 can deliver significant cost savings of up to 50% of total tree management costs through greater operational efficiency, increased compliance and the reduction of regulatory fines.

Visit us on www.point4uk.com to find out more.

European Space Agency

For more information on the European Space Agency: https://business.esa.int

+44 (0) 1476 247051


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