The Case for Underground Power Lines

It’s a long-term investment

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused about $200 billion in damage combined. These storms destroyed structures, delayed construction projects, and left millions of people without power for several days.

While storms are inevitable, it makes a strong case for running power lines underground. This would dramatically decrease power outages and improve storm cleanup.

Because of the aggressive winds and flooding that these storms bring, aboveground power lines simply don’t stand a chance. Here’s why municipalities should consider moving power lines underground.

Fewer Power Outages

Extensive power outages are most commonly caused by bad weather. Burying power lines involves laying power lines in insulated conduits. This means that underground power lines will be able to withstand heavy winds and rain. Weather and fallen tree branches are responsible for most of the power outages in the U.S. So, why are power lines still put aboveground?

Return on Investment

Municipalities have much to gain with underground power lines and will definitely see a return on investment. Underground power lines cost at least five times more than overhead power lines, making it an expensive upfront cost. And, customers would end up paying more for their utility bills. But, power outages are often costlier to individuals, businesses, and municipalities. They can also be health hazards.

Location Matters

Underground power lines need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Putting power lines underground would be a great solution in South Florida. Storms with heavy wind and rain are common, so underground power lines could dramatically reduce power outages and make storm cleanup easier. In some areas, where heavy flooding is common, keeping power lines overhead may be a better idea.

Moving power lines underground is a conversation that municipalities need to have. But, there are a lot of things to consider in this conversation. With Hurricanes Harvey and Irma fresh on everyone’s minds, now is a good time to open the lines of communication.

At Seacoast Construction, we have extensive experience navigating the process of hurricane cleanup and rebuilding. Give us a call at 786-433-8740. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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