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Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company uses AI to assess and repair distribution pole damage

OKLAHOMA CITY, Aug. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Gas & Electric Company ("OG&E"), a subsidiary of OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE), today announced it begins a pilot program that uses artificial intelligence ("AI") to help reduce outages caused by equipment failures. As part of its grid enhancement program, OG&E will leverage collaborative AI-powered image recognition technology that enables engineers to complete distribution pole inspections with greater accuracy and helps to reduce manual review of images.

TRC Companies, an engineering and digitally focused consulting firm with expertise in IT/OT solutions, will provide overall program management for the pilot. eSmart Systems will provide the advanced technology used during the pilot, including a best practice called Collaborative AI, with their Grid Vision® solution. The solution is designed to analyze photographic images of distribution poles to identify defects, catalog asset inventory and identify risk issues that need to be addressed to better maintain reliability. The solution is expected to accelerate image analysis and improve the inspection process, while increasing efficiency, improving safety, and enhancing overall reliability. The program will initially focus on woodpecker damage as a specific use case. Woodpeckers can and do cause considerable damage to wooden distribution/power poles in a short period of time and this technology allows OG&E to better respond to deterioration and utilize a consistent approach for repairs and replacements.

"We have been excited about eSmart since hearing about them through our partnership with Energy Impact Partners (EIP). Utilizing cutting-edge technology in the form of AI to inspect our distribution poles makes our electric grid smarter, improves our business processes and helps to keep the lights on for our customers," said Zac Gladhill, Director of Grid Integration and Innovation for OG&E. "We anticipate this technology will reduce the amount of time our engineers spend sifting through photographs of poles and "triaging" potential damage. We currently anticipate applying the technology to identify additional uses in our transmission and distribution network if the pilot meets performance objectives."

"Helping our clients integrate and fully leverage these types of advanced technologies is at the core of what we do in digital at TRC. The ability to utilize our expertise in grid enhancement to combine technology with solving clients' issues in new and innovative ways is just one way we are expanding capabilities for our clients," said Ryan Renner, TRC's President, Digital Solutions.

"We are excited to be partnering with OG&E and TRC to develop a solution that will help to improve the inspection process, increase efficiency, and improve safety," said Knut Johansen, CEO of eSmart Systems.

OG&E's Grid Enhancement Plan is designed to provide present and future benefits to its customers and stakeholders by focusing on the needed replacement and upgrade of equipment, while also including the installation of new technology and communications systems. The pilot program with eSmart Systems and TRC has the potential to advance the technology used by OG&E in the future and transform the way damage is assessed for years to come.

Click HERE to learn more about OG&E's Grid Enhancement Plan.

About TRC Companies

Groundbreaker. Game changer. Innovator. TRC is a global firm providing environmentally focused and digitally powered solutions that address local needs. For more than 50 years, we have set the bar for clients who require consulting, construction, engineering, and management services, combining science with the latest technology to devise solutions that stand the test of time. TRC's nearly 6,000 professionals serve a broad range of public and private clients, steering complex projects from conception to completion to help solve the toughest challenges. We break through barriers for our clients and help them follow through for sustainable results. TRC is ranked #20 on ENR's list of the Top 500 Design Firms in the United States. Learn more at TRCcompanies.com and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About eSmart Systems

eSmart Systems is a leading provider of AI-powered solutions for the inspection and maintenance of critical infrastructure. With our software solution, Grid Vision®, we revolutionize how Power Utilities operate and maintain their transmission and distribution networks. eSmart Systems offers a data-driven and condition-based approach to infrastructure inspections that can be managed from one single platform. This platform also employs Collaborative AI, a method for combing the best qualities of Machine Learning and Subject Matter Experts to achieve the best near-term inspection outcome, while also automatically training the AI for long-term success. We support companies worldwide by ensuring reduced costs, safer inspections, and prolonged asset life. For more information, please visit www.esmartsystems.com.

About OG&E

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE), is Oklahoma's largest electric utility. For more than a century, we have provided customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes with the nation's lowest electric rates, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Our employees are committed to generating and delivering electricity, protecting the environment, and providing excellent service to nearly 871,000 customers. OG&E has 7,081 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by low-sulfur coal, natural gas, wind, and solar. OG&E employees live, work, and volunteer in the communities we serve. For more information about OG&E, visit us at OGE.com or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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SOURCE OGE Energy Corp.

OG&E Media Contact: Christi Woodworth, (405) 553-3698; TRC Companies Media Contact: Phedorah Rosiclair, (617) 869-8023; ESmart Systems Media Contact: Maria Cernates, (512) 999-6645