As an approved surveyor of choice for PPL Electric Utilities, Larson Design Group is part of a team helping the Allentown-based utility constantly improve its electrical delivery system serving 1.4 million customers in 29 of Pennsylvania’s central and eastern counties.
Because of its singular focus on delivering service, PPL has captured the J.D. Power residential customer satisfaction award for large electric utilities in the eastern United States for seven straight years.
The PPL/LDG collaboration has centered on replacing aging facilities and building new ones to meet growth in demand and to enhance the reliability, resiliency and security of PPL’s network. The work has encompassed scores of miles of line and standardizing PPL’s right-of-way corridor width across hundreds of parcels of independently-owned property from which PPL leases right-of-way.
“Larson Design Group has been very responsive to our requests,” said David Slavish, PPL’s survey party chief. “That time-tested reliability helps us move ahead more quickly, get projects done sooner and satisfy our customers.”
Said LDG Geospatial Project Manager Chris Iachini, a registered land surveyor who manages the relationship, “Everything we do is intended to help PPL provide better, more efficient service. It’s a continuing privilege to serve a national leader in electric utility customer satisfaction.”
One of the keys to success is scheduling, especially tight timeframes during scheduled shutdowns which have fixed start and end dates. LDG’s surveyors have proven to be flexible and adaptive to short notices and challenging environmental conditions.
Another key to the relationship is technology. LDG utilizes state of the art global positioning system (GPS) and robotic surveying technologies to accurately and efficiently obtain the required survey data or precisely lay out structures and features.
Once LDG’s survey crews measure the corridor boundaries, the data are converted into CAD drawings and loaded into PPL’s online geographic information system (GIS). The result is that PPL can visualize every detail of every inch of its corridors to make the best-informed decisions about the need for changes. For physical upgrades, LDG also has provided construction staking and created “as-built” drawings as a record of the installation.
Said LDG Director of Geospatial Operations Gary Sheets, “Client service and teamwork are core values shared by PPL and LDG and a primary reason why the relationship works so well. Whether it’s our project managers working to balance priorities and schedules, or our field personnel resolving an unforeseen issue, the focus is always on PPL and their customers.”