Can We Bury Them Powerlines Already?

power linesNow that it is finally spring up here in Northern New England, the pain of my commute has turned it into time to hang my head out the window and enjoy lush Connecticut River Valley Scenery. Friday I noticed that the clouds were really intense because of thunderstorms in the area and I wanted to stop and take a photo of the contrast between the green grass, yellow dandelions, and epic clouds. As I lined up the shot, the recurring nuisance of the power lines slashed through the frame like a tot pissing down the water slide at the local swimming pool.

I know these power lines are vital to everything we do and provide for the advantages of being a 21st Century Digital Boy, but how expensive can underground power lines actually be? Wouldn’t this also help prevent power outages (especially with the ice storms we often have in this area)? Well thankfully Edison Electric Institute completed an exhaustive study on this exact topic in July of 2006.

The study concludes:

  • Undergrounding power lines costs at least ten times as much as running conventional power lines
  • Underground power lines experience only 20 - 25% of the outages that overhead lines do
  • Underground outages take 2.5 times as long to repair
  • read the full study [ pdf ]

Unfortunately it looks like overhead power lines are something we will have to continue to deal with until they get wireless power perfected. They haven’t even finished my PRP (personnal rocket pack) yet, so we might be waiting awhile.