Satelytics Announces Breakthrough in Shoreline Management for Georgia Power Using AI-Powered Geospatial Analytics



Dawson Ingram, Lake Resources Manager, Georgia Power

­Satelytics announced the successful results of its ongoing partnership with Georgia Power, the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Satelytics’ advanced AI-powered geospatial analytics technology is helping Georgia Power to proactively monitor and safeguard the health of lakes and reservoirs that constitute the organization’s hydroelectric system, which delivers power to more than 2.6 million Georgia Power residents in the state of Georgia.

Satelytics deployed a suite of proprietary algorithms, and along with the field expertise of Georgia Power, was able to proactively identify threats before they could spiral out of control. The analyzed images were scheduled by Satelytics and taken with Airbus' 50cm resolution Pléiades 1A/1B satellites, providing unprecedented, detailed insight into the challenges faced by Georgia Power—outlining a new approach for the hydroelectric power industry as a whole.

"Land disturbance issues are the primary concerns we are looking for with our surveillance program in the lands around the lakes,” said Dawson Ingram, Lake Resources Manager, Georgia Power. “Environmental risk is the biggest issue.”

The problems facing the hydroelectric power industry include shoreline-adjacent private construction projects springing up faster than manual inspectors can detect them. Soil, pollutants, and other unwanted debris are at constant risk of draining into reservoirs. Lakes set aside for water sports, or used as sources of drinking water, are frequently beset by algae and invasive species, putting communities at risk. Worse yet, invasive vegetation like hydrilla can grow to the point of choking off flow into dams, in the process damaging entire hydroelectric systems. Any one of these problems, if not identified in time, can cause significant problems for both hydroelectric power companies and the surrounding communities.

Satelytics' change-detection algorithms ensured that problems were identified in time by rapidly detecting land disturbances, vegetative clearing, and signs of construction on land or at the shoreline itself. Meanwhile, separate algorithms were deployed to detect aquatic plant growth in the water, at depths unattainable with conventional monitoring technology—upwards of two feet in many cases. Because images were acquired on a seasonal basis, Satelytics was able to pinpoint subtle differences in terrain, vegetation, and building structure, and instantly bring these to Georgia Power's attention for remediation.

"Hydropower is key to a clean energy future, but that future is jeopardized by threats to the hydroelectic system," said Sean Donegan, president and CEO of Satelytics. "By drawing multilateral insights from the highest-resolution imagery, we've been able to help Georgia Power avoid problems faced by hydroelectricity projects worldwide, providing the kinds of timely, actionable information that stops problems at the source.”

“Our expertise is taking big data and distilling it down into critical action alerts and easily digestible data visualizations for our customers," Donegan continued. "In doing so, we give Georgia Power and other companies the tools they need to keep operations running smoothly."

The implications of this project are significant for the hydroelectric power industry. Georgia Power and its field workers can save time on remediation efforts by focusing their efforts only on those issues flagged as most problematic by Satelytics' technology. This increased efficiency represents a major breakthrough for an industry whose efforts are crucial for the future of clean energy and for the country's utility infrastructure as a whole.

Given the sheer scope of the monitored terrain—and the fact that many shoreline encroachments are located on, or adjacent to, private property—the ability of field workers to inspect them can be very limited. Satelytics, by contrast, is able to regularly ingest and analyze data and produce actionable results within hours of capture. These results are delivered in a wide variety of formats, including text/email alerts and a full suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) that translate Satelytics alerts and data into direct input to utility’s existing business software.