Underline powerline - Essay Example

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Underground power lines are very expensive to install but it is affordable if the government, consumers, and the property owner accept to take care of the costs. Property owners can make this happen at fewer prices during the start of their construction since at this time,…
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Underground power lines Underground power lines are very expensive to install but it is affordable if the government, consumers, and the property owner accept to take care of the costs. Property owners can make this happen at fewer prices during the start of their construction since at this time, constructors and housing tracts can install underground power cables alongside water systems and fiber optics. This project is much costly when it comes to retrofitting because it concerns buildings that have already been built where power lines are already installed and the constructor has to dig through people’s houses in order to install the power cables.
It becomes very expensive and a property owner cannot do this if the consumers are not willing to pay more. For instance, burying ordinary overhead power cable costs approximately $ 194,000 per mile. Burying power cables costs approximately $571,000 per mile. In order to retrofit a built house or building with installed underground power cables, it is more expensive because the costs increase up to $724,000 per mile. Those transmission lines that carry high voltage power, the thick power cables that transport power across long distances, installation of new power lines can cost approximately $ 23 million per mile. Therefore, the consumers will be required to cater for these costs because the property owner cannot bear them.
The problem of installing power cables underground is that some infrastructure would still lie above land and be susceptible to damages related to storms and hurricanes. For instance, in New York City where power lines are installed underground, force of nature and an explosion from 14th street left many people without power. Underground installation of power cables is not a permanent solution to power outages because there is possibility of destruction from dig-in events and flooding which can leave people without power. Further, in situations where power blackout takes place within underground systems, it very hard for technicians to locate the affected area. Further, it consumes more time and money to carry out repair.
The underground power line is not efficient because it is not easy to maintain, upgrade, it has a twenty-year life span and does not adapt easily to the underground environment. The property owners should take the responsibility of installing underground power lines because when storms and heat waves strikes, people go for days without power, and yet they are the ones’ responsible for paying the damages. Some areas places such as Texas and Florida are perennially affected by storms and heat waves, therefore, it is prudent to assess the benefits, and the costs of having power lines located underground. The government should not push utilities to install underground power lines instead; it should allocate funds for such projects because it minimizes costs of responding to emergencies.
Work Cited
Fecht, Sarah. Should the Northeast Bury its Power Lines to Prevent Outages? Power Mechanics,
October 31, 2012. Print. Read More
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