• 4 minutes Why Trump Is Right to Re-Open the Economy
  • 7 minutes Did Trump start the oil price war?
  • 11 minutes Covid-19 logarithmic growth
  • 15 minutes Charts of COVID-19 Fatality Rate by Age and Sex
  • 18 minutes China Takes Axe To Alternative Energy Funding, Slashing Subsidies For Solar And Wind
  • 17 mins TRUMP pushing Hydroxychloroquine + Zpak therapy forward despite FDA conservative approach. As he reasons, "What have we got to lose ?"
  • 4 hours Dr. Fauci is over rated.
  • 2 hours Where's the storage?
  • 8 hours China extracts record amount of natural gas from Gas Hydrates in South China Sea
  • 10 hours Western Canadian Select selling for $6.48 bbl. Enbridge charges between $7 to $9 bbl to ship to the GOM refineries.
  • 1 hour Saudi Arabia Can't Endure $30 Oil For Long
  • 45 mins Hillary Clinton tweeted a sick Covid joke just to attack Trump
  • 2 hours Oxford Epidemiologist: Here’s Why That Covid-19 Doomsday Model Is Likely Way Off
  • 3 mins America’s Corona Tsar, Andrew Fauci, Concedes Covid-19 May Be Just a Bad Flu With a Fatality Rate of 0.1%
  • 24 hours Dept of Energy ditches plans to buy Crude Oil for SPR
  • 1 day Wastewater Infrastructure Needs
Iran Is Preparing For An Oil Export Boom

Iran Is Preparing For An Oil Export Boom

Iran is gearing up to…

The Worst Is Still To Come For Oil Markets

The Worst Is Still To Come For Oil Markets

There isn’t any incentive to…

James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

More Info

The Problem with Burying Power Lines

The Problem with Burying Power Lines

Severe storms can often knock out power lines, leaving millions without electricity for anywhere between a few hours, to several days or more. Burying the cables would avoid the risk of breakages during violent weather, so why don’t utility companies install all their power lines underground?

In a 2010 report by the District of Columbia Public Service Commission, it was found that more than 1000 power outages could be prevented each year by burying all overhead lines in the DC area. However such an endeavour would cost $5.8 billion and add $226 to monthly electric bills for ten years.

When looking to bury power lines, utilities must dismantle existing overhead cables, they must also factor in the increased cost that repairs to the buried lines will incur, especially as they don’t last as long underground, and must be dug up and fully removed when old or broken. How these costs weigh up against the high costs of blackouts will be the deciding factor in any decision made.

In a recent study the EIA found that underground lines can cost as much as five to ten times more than overhead lines, although prices vary wildly from city to city.

In Manhattan where construction crews are already digging foundations for new buildings, burying the cables is relatively easy and cheap. The county of Anaheim, California, has also found it relatively cheap to bury power lines, charging just an extra four percent to customer’s utility bills. However the costs in places such as Colorado, which has a granite bedrock, or Florida, whose water table is very high, are too great to justify underground installation.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com

For the latest oil prices visit our homepage.



Join the discussion | Back to homepage




Leave a comment
  • Mark Goldes on July 27 2012 said:
    If our Chava Ultraconductor (polymer room temperature equivalents of superconductors) program resumes as presently seems likely, within 5 years plastic cables can be buried underground.

    The materials operate up to 200 degrees C (390 F) and are expected to carry up to 1 Billion amperes per sq. cm.

    Thus the cables can be low voltage - high current.

    Much less likely to cost more than overhead lines or need as much maintenance.
  • Craig King on July 27 2012 said:
    Here in Cape Town the power cables are underground because of the high winds we get. The added benefit is one of aesthetics.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News