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Cost and reliability comparisons of underground and overhead power lines

Steve A. Fenrick and Lullit Getachew

Utilities Policy, 2012, vol. 20, issue 1, 31-37

Abstract: This paper outlines the benefits of undergrounding power lines. We present research that reveals the reliability and operation and maintenance (O&M) impacts of electric underground lines relative to overhead lines. This research uses a comprehensive dataset from 163 US electric utilities. Holding the effects of other important operating variables constant, our research indicates that undergrounding reduces O&M cost and enhances reliability by reducing power outage durations. We also provide a brief discussion of other considerations that are important when weighing the benefits and cost of placing power lines underground.

Keywords: Power distribution reliability; SAIDI; Power distribution lines; Underground power lines; Reliability estimation; O&M cost model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2011.10.002

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