Bentley Systems has acquired SPIDA Software, developers of specialised software for the design, analysis and management of utility pole systems
The integration of SPIDA within Bentley’s OpenUtilities engineering software and grid digital twin cloud services will help address the challenges of transitioning to new renewable energy sources.
Founded in 2007 in Columbus, Ohio, SPIDA offers modelling, simulation, and data management software solutions to electric and communications utilities, and their engineering services providers, in the US and Canada.
Grid digital twins can provide utilities with immersive and engineering-accurate geospatial representations of their transmission and distribution assets, combining intelligent network and structural analysis with as-operated 3D and 4D physical reality.
Bentley’s OpenUtilities grid digital twin solutions enable operators and power producers to evaluate grid trade-offs and opportunities, now spanning traditional and renewable sources and energy storage, as they provision services to meet demand.
With the incorporation of SPIDA, the reach of grid digital twins can now extend to the utility pole networks and structures, which deliver the environmentally vulnerable “last mile” of critical infrastructure for vital energy and communications.
Leading electric utilities including Ameren, EPCOR, Nashville Electric Service (NES), and Southern California Edison (SCE), engineer the effectiveness and resilience of their overhead systems by applying SPIDA’s software.
SPIDA’s utility pole solutions include SPIDAcalc for capturing, modelling, and optimising overhead transmission and distribution assets for structural loading; SPIDAsilk to analyse cable sag and tension design for physical and ambient properties for precise wire tension and conductor installation; and SPIDAstudio, a cloud-based platform that centrally tracks and manages the asset health and physical condition of overhead systems.
‘Sustainably advancing infrastructure’
“As the rapid expansion of renewable energy sources and greater demand created by electric vehicles increasingly stresses our grid infrastructure, and for 5G-enabled broadband rollout, grids’ utility poles are ‘priceless’ for sustainably advancing infrastructure,” said Alan Kiraly, senior vice president, asset and network performance, Bentley Systems.
“We are very pleased to welcome our new SPIDA colleagues to Bentley Systems and to OpenUtilities, and we look forward to further integrating and globalising SPIDA software, already known as the trusted stalwart for energy distribution engineers in their essential work to improve grid performance and resilience.”
Brett Willitt, president of SPIDA Software, added: “Our vision with SPIDA has always been to provide a complete and open solution for maintaining and improving the health and integrity of our users’ power and communication overhead infrastructure assets.
“Within the Bentley team, we look forward to accelerating grid digital twin solutions, which leverage our industry domain experience and incorporate SPIDA structural analyses.
“Existing and future SPIDA users can look forward with confidence to leveraging grid digital twins as they upgrade, modify, expand, and manage their overhead systems.”
The acquisition of SPIDA Software, which is not material to Bentley’s financial results, will add 26 colleagues in North America.