The Perfect Case for Burying Power Lines

There are hundreds of reports of downed electricity transmission and distribution lines in the wake of Hurricane Irene. For example, this Bloomberg article reports that about 5.94 million customers were or are without power in 13 states in the eastern U.S. from North Carolina to Maine. This is far greater than the number of outages from Hurricane Gloria in 1985 or Hurricane Isabel in 2003. As well, this Edmonton Journal article reports thousands of customers in eastern Canada without power due to Irene.

Would it not make sense to bury power lines in areas that are ravaged by hurricanes on a regular basis? The millions of dollars saved in power line repair and maintenance costs, as well as down time and lost revenues from industry and businesses would more than pay any additional capital costs to bury the lines. Over the life of a power line, underground lines are cheaper than overhead lines.

~ by RETA on August 30, 2011.

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