power lines tower up close


CenterPoint Energy logo


safety and security icon

Enhanced Safety and Reliability

cost effective icon

Cost Savings

material management icon

Optimized Resource Allocation

Mitigating Tower Foundation Failures for CenterPoint Energy

The Challenge

In March 2013, CenterPoint Energy faced a critical challenge when a 90-degree lattice tower underream foundation failure led to a cascading event involving four additional towers. This incident occurred during frigid temperatures shortly after the line had been reconductored. Following this failure, CenterPoint Energy identified symptoms of foundation failure in several other towers with underream foundations, prompting the need for immediate action.

The Solution

CenterPoint Energy sought solutions to address this challenge, ultimately commissioning Think Power to assist in the inspection and analysis of these structures. The primary objective was to inspect, identify, and prioritize towers posing the greatest risk to facilitate effective mitigation measures.

Think Power implemented a comprehensive risk management program based on field inspection data and other relevant parameters. This program involved:

  • Developing an algorithm to categorize the risk of tower foundation failures based on inspection data, including tower leaning angles, bent members, foundation cracks, and severity of foundation racking.
  • Establishing a risk management and mitigation strategy to detect hidden failures and prioritize remediation efforts on towers at risk of failure.
  • The results of this risk management program were integrated into a comprehensive dashboard for further analysis and monitoring.

Key Benefits

  1. Early Detection and Prioritization: The risk management program facilitated early detection of potential failures and prioritized remediation efforts, allowing CenterPoint Energy to focus resources where they were most needed.
  2. Enhanced Safety and Reliability: By addressing foundation failures proactively, CenterPoint Energy improved the safety and reliability of its transmission system, minimizing the risk of future incidents and disruptions.
  3. Cost Savings: Preventive measures implemented as part of the mitigation strategy helped avoid costly repairs and downtime associated with tower failures, resulting in significant cost savings for CenterPoint Energy.
  4. Optimized Resource Allocation: The risk-based approach enabled CenterPoint Energy to optimize resource allocation by directing efforts toward high-risk towers, maximizing the impact of mitigation measures.

The Results

Think Power Solutions successfully developed and implemented a risk management and mitigation strategy to address hidden failures and prioritize remediation efforts for at-risk towers. By leveraging innovative technology and data analytics, Think Power exceeded CenterPoint Energy’s expectations in terms of schedule, cost, and quality in field inspections.