Friday, January 20, 2012

Test of underground power lines dies

Howls follow every ice storm that leaves thousands of Carolina residents stranded without power: Bury utility lines underground!

But a Duke Energy test to do just that has flopped. Duke told the N.C. Utilities Commission this week that it's ending a three-year program to bury municipal lines because no cities ever signed on.

Duke had offered matching money, totaling $1.5 million a year, to up to three N.C. cities to bury lines. They would focus on lines especially vulnerable to storms or accidents. The idea was to see if burying lines would be worth doing on a larger scale.

About 20 towns and cities expressed initial interest, but none signed on. Many cited budget problems in a weak economy.

The experiment continues in South Carolina, where Greenville signed on in 2010. Its Weather the Storm program offers up to $1,500 from Duke and the city for each resident who asks to have their power lines buried.

More than 1,300 requests had been filed by last June, and the city was assessing up to to six projects in commercial areas.


Anonymous said...

The City of Rock Hill has buried most of their lines and is working to bury the rest.

Guess NC towns are too busy spending money on a DNC convention than taking care of their own residents.

Anonymous said...

How can this not pass muster when completing a biz case? The amount of capex to do this will more than make up the amount of open required to maintain and fix current exposed lines over a certain duration. Additionally, the amount of down time or wasted time due to outages effect efficiency and production across all areas, especially commercial. What are our cities and state thinking?

Anonymous said...

it only behooves the power company to not bury them. it's a no brainer. Duke should just pay and be done with it

Anonymous said...

Burying the power lines makes more sense than expanding the rail line or in having the Democratic Convention in Charlotte. The butchered trees that intefere with the current power lines make our city look ugly. Why plant trees beneath power lines anyway?? Someone in city government has no common sense! Do what is right..bury the power lines to save the tax payer money in the long run!