Nobody Wants Overhead High Voltage Power Lines

Do most people want electricity, or perhaps even depend on it? Probably.

Is there an overhead high voltage power line proposed anywhere in the world that is not opposed by the residents, other landowners, businesses, schools and other stakeholders negatively impacted by the line? Probably not. So…if almost everyone wants or needs electricity, but nobody wants to look at ugly overhead towers and cables, what can we do?

RETA has provided information on the many negative impacts of overhead high voltage power lines, which include: health, safety, property values, the environment, tourism, livestock, crops, pipelines, other development opportunities, aircraft, power outages due to tornadoes and other inclement weather, and visual impacts.

RETA has also provided information on the many benefits of burying high voltage power lines. Essentially, all of the negative impacts listed above are either eliminated or significantly reduced when power lines are buried. And, when capital, maintenance and transmission loss costs are combined over the life of a line, underground lines are less expensive than overhead lines.

As people around the world become more informed about the negative impacts of overhead high voltage power lines and the benefits of burying them, they are pressing for underground lines. RETA has provided many such examples on this website. Another recent example is reported in the Billings Gazette.

All 12 Butte-Silver Bow commissioners signed and sent a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Montana Department of Environmental Quality requesting that serious consideration be given to bury the proposed Mountain States Transmission Intertie (MSTI) between Montana and Idaho. The letter states that since the controversial 500kV MSTI was proposed by NorthWestern Energy in 2008, technology has greatly improved for burying high voltage lines and therefore it should be considered. Several other counties and cities in southwestern Montana have also requested that burying the line be studied.

Upset residents and a former MP for Montgomeryshire are concerned about a 30-mile 400kV high voltage power line proposed to cross some of Shropshire’s and Mid Wales’ most beautiful countryside in England (Shropshire Star). Lord Carlile of Berriew has said, “At the very least there must be a full public inquiry into the landscape consequences”. National Grid executives have said they can address some of the concerns people have about the substantial impact on the area’s natural landscape through a “combination of both overhead lines and underground cables”.

Transmission companies, electricity operators, electricity regulators and governments cannot continue to ignore the rapidly improving underground cable technology and the growing demand for ugly overhead power lines to be buried. If they do, they do so at their own peril.

RETA applauds those electricity transmission companies and governments that support burying high voltage power lines.

~ by RETA on August 3, 2012.

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