Webinar Series: 21st-Century Costs of Undergrounding

This six-part webinar series with T&D World explores the 21st-Century Costs of Undergrounding. Each webinar is co-sponsored by one of our member companies.

Find a list of dates and topics below. Check back for updates, registration links, and access to archived webinars.

Part 1: Lowering Costs with the Technology to “See” Underground

Date: March 31, 2021

Co-sponsor: IMCORP

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Description: Ever wish you could drive by and see the condition of your underground cable systems? What if a technology existed to provide a foot-by-foot profile, pinpoint manufacturing and installation defects before the installers walk off site, and prevent millions of dollars in future operation and maintenance costs? What if the same technology could be used to assess the health of aged cable systems that have been damaged by extreme operating conditions. What if you had foot-by-foot asset condition knowledge to direct expenditures as part of a FERC-approved, all-capital program that can double or triple the life of existing assets and reduce costs by up to 70%? Learn about cutting-edge technology that has been proven to enable dramatically lower underground cable life-cycle costs. Review two decades of field experience encompassing 200 million feet of cable from 80 utilities in 17 countries providing powerful underground life-cycle cost insights.

Part 2: Materials Solutions Enable Value of Strategic Undergrounding

Date: April 28, 2021

Co-sponsor: Dow

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Description: Recent events involving power outages are redefining the value of reliability in power systems. Materials solutions can help provide long-life performance and lower total ownership costs over the life of the asset.

Join this April 28th webinar when Dow will share information validated by 3rd party data to learn more about value vs. price. Dow, a leading global provider of materials for both power and telecom cable applications, also will share information about Cable Tech, its online educational partnership with WPI, where you can advance your cable expertise.

Part 3: Underground Construction Strategies

Date: May 26, 2021

Co-sponsor: Haugland Energy

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Description: Once papers are signed, life is given to a project. From there, the process from engineering to construction is a long road; often the two are viewed as separate paths, but coordination and communication throughout them is key to a project’s success.

Join the webinar on May 26th when Haugland Energy, a leader in electrical and civil construction, will share insight on this collaboration based on their extensive project experience. You will learn more about:

  • Constructability reviews
  • Early engagement between engineering and construction
  • Project communication
  • Contracts and procurement

Part 4: Thinking Ahead for the Next 100 Years: Underground Solutions

Date: June 30, 2021

Co-sponsor: Centuri

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Description: Utility companies are challenged with the ever-present need for continuous preparation and response requirements to high-impact and low-probability events, mostly weather-related. Historically, these events have increased for the past fifteen years. Specific to the past five years, there has been a sharp increase, and 2020 was a record events/costly year.

Centuri invites you to “think ahead” about how to dramatically improve electric system reliability and resiliency by driving the cost out of underground solutions. We will discuss how effective resiliency programs are able to proactively harden the system power grid in a capitalized, strategic, cost-effective manner.

Learn about the opportunity to be proactive and reduce total time to restoration for customer outages, while improving regulatory performance metrics and enhancing the public image. Explore the practical applications that deliver value…every day.

Part 5: Reliable Underground Insulation Systems for Cost Effective Transmission, Distribution, and Renewable Energy Connections

Date: July 28, 2021

Co-sponsor: Borealis

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Description: Strategic undergrounding offers a solution for increased reliability and resiliency of transmission and distribution systems. Join this webinar on July 28 to discuss insulation materials from Borealis with proven in-service track records to enable reliable solutions for applications of distribution and transmission voltages through 500 kV, as well as offshore wind generation and HVDC transmission.

Part 6: Cable Systems for the Future of Underground Transmission in North America

One innovative approach to integrate extruded cable technology in existing pipe-type cable infrastructure.

Date: August 25

Co-sponsor: Southwire, G&W Electric

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Description: 69 kV through 345 kV class high-pressure fluid-filled cable systems – also known as pipe-type cable systems – have reliably delivered power to North American metropolitan areas for decades. As an estimated 3,000 – 3,600 circuit miles of this oil-filled underground infrastructure reach end-of-life, stakeholders – asset managers, manufacturers, construction companies, and the public – are looking for different options to maintain reliable power delivery at a reasonable cost while mitigating any negative aspects of maintenance and conversion activities.

You will learn about one emerging solution – the development of novel cable systems which combine well-known and reliable pipe-type components with customized extruded insulation systems and elastomeric stress control parts for joints and terminations.
The webinar is co-sponsored and moderated by PDi2, an organization of suppliers, consultants and stakeholders promoting the long-term value of undergrounding the electric grid.

February 2021

21st-Century Costs of Underground Distribution

T&D World

Mike Beehler

National Spokesperson/PDI2

Mike Beehler has 40 years of electric T&D experience at Tucson Electric Power, Hawaiian Electric Company and Burns & McDonnell.  He is educated as a civil/structural engineer and is a registered professional engineer in eight states.  He currently is the founding member and Chief Opportunity Officer of Mike Beehler & Associates, LLC and serves as the National Spokesperson for the Power Delivery Intelligence Initiative. 

Mike is a Fellow in ASCE and a Member of IEEE and CIGRE.  He has been married for 40 years and has four adult children and some delightful grandchildren.  He lives on Singer Island, FL.

Tony Hemling

Voting Member PDi2

Troy Helming is a modern-day industrialist and Unicorn founder. He’s an innovator, inventor, author, an elite athlete (invited 4x to compete on American Ninja Warrior), and a clean energy executive. As a creator, he’s founded clean energy & climate-tech companies that have generated more than $30 Billion of economic impact to date and invented 2 technologies that have led to over 60 clean energy patent claims.


Tim Wagner, Executive Director

Tim Wagner has nearly thirty years of association management experience, including positions as President & CEO, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Finance. He has been instrumental in the financial and program success of several associations in the power, energy, and broadband industries. He has vast experience at national trade associations, including association governance, grant management, workforce development, planned giving, meeting planning, accounting, investment management, employee benefits, building operations, and information systems. Tim is a graduate (summa cum laude) of the University of Virginia, where he presented his thesis on the Economic Impact of the Rural Electrification Administration.

Landry Molimbi

Head of Asset Management and Prysmian Electronics
Prysmian Group North America
Voting Member PDi2

Landry Molimbi is responsible for leading all Asset Management and Product Development activities for High Voltage & Medium Voltage Partial Discharge testing/monitoring services, optical sensing products (DAS, DTS) and innovative solutions for the North America Business Units (High Voltage, Power Distribution, Industrial, Telecom).

In this role, Landry is focused on business development, project management, technical sales support, and Partial Discharge measurement services for the Prysmian Group proprietary and revolutionary PRY-CAM technologies for the asset management of electrical systems, helping utilities increase uptime, asset longevity and safety while reducing maintenance costs & risks.

Landry started his career with General Cable (Silec) in 2007 and joined NKT Photonics in 2011. He moved to the Prysmian Group as Vice President for the Prysmian Electronics BU in 2018.

Born in Paris, France, Landry holds a master’s degree in Engineering from the ENSEM, a school of the National Polytechnic Institute of Lorraine in Nancy. Landry is also a member of various industry committees and an active member of CIGRE.

John W. Fluharty, II

Quanta Services Inc.
Voting Member PDi2

John W Fluharty, II is currently working as part of Quanta Services, Inc.’s (Quanta) underground cable group that performs large underground electrical projects.

Previously Mr. Fluharty was Vice President of Mears Group, Inc. (Mears) a subsidiary of Quanta Services, Inc. He was an owner of Mears until its sale to Quanta in 2000. He managed every division in the company and at the end of his tenure with Mears he focused on business development, asset management, safety and operations for large projects.

Mr. Fluharty is a board member of the Power and Communications Contractor Association (PCCA), and the American Pipeline Contractors Association (APCA).


David Lindsay

Marketing Manager – Energy Borealis Compounds, Inc.
Immediate-past Chairman/Voting Member PDi2

David Lindsay is currently Marketing Manager for the Energy business of Borealis Compounds, Inc. in North America. He has over 20 years in the US wire and cable business, working at manufacturers, non-profit organizations and electrical contractors. His experiences range from research and product development, to manufacturing, construction and installation of EHV cable systems. At Borealis he is responsible for customer and end-use marketing, and strategic planning of all wire and cable related product lines.

David serves on the NEETRAC Advisory Board, is actively involved in IEEE Insulated Conductor Committee and is past US representative to Cigré SC B1. He holds a Bachelors of Materials Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Masters of Business Administration from the University of West Georgia.


Paul Caronia

Application Technology Leader, Power Cables - DOW
Executive Board/Voting Member PDi2

Paul Caronia, is the global power cable materials application technology leader in the Wire and Cable materials group of The Dow Chemical Company. He is responsible for leading the development and commercialization of new product technology for power cable applications. He has been involved in the development and commercial usage of today’s tree-retardant crosslinked polyethylene used in medium voltage cables, crosslinked polyethylene insulation used in high voltage cables as well as semiconductive compounds and flame retardant compounds. He is a senior member of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power Engineering Society and the IEEE’s Insulated Conductors Committee (ICC) as well as a voting member of the IEEE standard association. As a member of the IEEE ICC, he chairs ICC A7 on power cable jackets which just recently completed revising IEEE Guide P532for Selecting and Testing Jackets for Power, Instrumentation and Control Cables as well as the chair of ICC A6 on accelerated aging of materials used in cable applications. Paul is also a member of CIGRE (International Council on Large Electric Systems) and was a member of working group B1.55 that developed recommendations for submarine cables to 60 kV and is currently a member of working group B2.75 developing an application guide for insulated and un-insulated conductors used on medium and low voltage overhead lines. Is the author of over 40 publications/presentations, has over 12 granted patents and is a recipient of the R&D100 award. He is a graduate of Rutgers University, holding Degrees in Engineering as well as a licensed professional engineer.


Ben Lanz

Director of Applications Engineering, IMCORP
Chair/Voting Member PDi2

After 20 years in the power cable industry, Mr. Lanz currently holds the position of Director of Applications Engineering at IMCORP and has technical oversight of power cable life cycle consulting. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE Power & Energy Society, a voting member of the IEEE Standards Society, and a member of the IEEE Dielectrics and Industrial Applications Societies. He has served as Chairman of the Insulated Conductors Committee (ICC) technical committees responsible for cable testing, cable reliability and surge arresters, Chairman of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) O&M Balance of Plant technical subcommittee, a UL technical study committee member for MV and HV DC cables and is a reviewer and voting pool member for InterNational Electrical Testing Association (NETA) standards. Mr. Lanz received his electrical engineering degree from the University of Connecticut (UCONN) under mentorship of Director of the Institute of Material Science Electrical Insulation Research Center (EIRC), Dr. Matthew Mashikian. He has published over a dozen papers on power system reliability, asset management, and diagnostics and regularly presents on the topics.