Is it Time for You to Consider Undergrounding Some of Your Distribution Lines? (POWERGRID International)
Posted with permission from POWERGRID International.
Two North American utilities are burying more than 6,000 miles of power lines combined. Project managers from each one describe why they did it, how they did it, and what lessons they have learned along the way.
Utilities are in the business of providing reliable, affordable electricity service to customers but what happens when there is an area that just keeps getting pummeled with storms and reliability can’t be improved? For both Dominion Energy and WEC Energy Group, that’s when strategic undergrounding came into play.
Undergrounding transmission and distribution wires has historically been so cost prohibitive that utilities dismiss the idea before even exploring it. But that’s a mistake, says Mike Beehler, PE and spokesperson for the Power Delivery Intelligence Initiative (PDII).
“Engineers and planners need to evaluate overhead and underground and no longer work under the assumption that there is a rule of thumb that says, ‘Underground is just too expensive. I’m not going to evaluate it,” said Beehler in an interview.
“It’s the 21st century [and] we’re not building transmission and distribution lines like our grandfathers did on the legacy grid,” he added.
Read the full article at power-grid.com.