Nalcor Energy was challenged to connect Newfoundland and Labrador with a new resource for clean, renewable energy. New transmission lines and associated infrastructure needed to be built across 1,600+ kilometres of remote terrain that included protected water supplies, wildlife habitats and important wilderness areas – as well as experiencing extreme weather conditions and unreliable internet connectivity. Wood’s innovative solution involved a web-based GIS (Geographic Information System) that was closely integrated with field data applications and other customisable resources.

The spatial data management challenges posed by Nalcor Energy’s Lower Churchill Project were significant and wide-ranging. They included: about 1,500 km of transmission route right-of-way and 1,350 km of access roads; thousands of widely dispersed individual construction sites;  monitoring and inspections of 2,700+ stream crossings; hundreds of project field workers and contractors, as well as government inspectors and regulators; and, the identification, flagging and protection of animal nesting sites in advance of any right-of-way clearing activities.

Wood’s cloud-based mapping system, LCP Powerline, provided internal and external stakeholders with access to an extensive range of valuable data, high-resolution imagery and real-time reporting.

Field applications had a map-based interface with pre-configured data collection templates, enabling field inspectors and surveyors to view their location even without internet connectivity. Regulators could view information and photos on a map just minutes after it was reviewed and submitted electronically by an inspector in the field, resulting in better productivity and significant cost savings. It also generated wider project awareness and coordination, regarding the proximity of worksites to environmentally sensitive areas.

In addition, our development of a tower construction progress dashboard provided maps and charts to management in near real-time, enabling improved oversight and monitoring, as well as more timely responses to variances.