Alabama Power is one of four utilities operated by Southern Company, a leading electricity provider in the United States. They are headquartered in Birmingham and are the primary electric providers for the southern two-thirds of the state, with 6,500 employees, and serve 1.4 million customers across more than 300 locations.
With many substations across the area, there are many threats, such as trespassing, vandalism, and sabotage, that the team had to consider. Stopping crimes in progress and preventing future attempts became a top priority. Along with these goals, recording these crimes could help mitigate liability and maintain regulatory compliance. These actions would help Alabama Power’s team be proactive without compromising service to customers.
In collaboration with systems integrator Convergint Technologies, Alabama Powers’s Corporate Security began to set up 4,000 Avigilon cameras throughout various facilities. These installations included multiple models from the H4 line, including the H4 IR PTZ camera, which allows for visibility in all conditions, to the versatile H4A Bullet, which also has built-in infrared viewing. All of this was integrated with over 200 servers and centrally operated by Avigilon Control Center™ (ACC) video management, allowing operators to remotely monitor various sites.
The most immediate result came from the self-learning video analytics embedded in the Avigilon cameras and ACC software. After learning what “normal” activity looks like, Unusual Motion Detection (UMD) technology is able to alert security personnel when there is an anomaly. Not only has this allowed Alabama Power to replace its costly legacy motion and beam intrusion sensors, it has also led to the identification and apprehension of several suspects while they were actively trespassing on site. As an added benefit, the Avigilon system was seamlessly configured with Alabama Power’s pre-existing access control system to further secure the company’s premises. The final major advantage of their integrated solution is that it can continue to grow and scale as technologies are upgraded.