Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Virginia State News

July 19, 2013

Dominion looking at underground power lines in Va

RICHMOND, Va. —  Dominion Virginia Power is taking a fresh look at putting some of its power lines underground.

The energy provider says a preliminary analysis shows that putting the most frequently damaged power lines underground would sharply speed power restorations after major storms.

Undergrounding 20 percent of Dominion’s worst-performing residential lines could reduce the number of repairs required to restore power to all customers as a result of damage by 63 percent.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that company officials didn’t provide a projected cost for undergrounding lines. But Virginia regulators have estimated that putting overhead electric lines underground statewide would cost $83.3 billion, an average cost per customer of $27,000. And it would take decades to complete.

The State Corporation Commission said that while residential customers overwhelmingly have favored placing utilities underground, the customers indicated they were not willing to pay for the work.

The company has to balance customer expectations for reliable service and charging responsible rates, Rodney Blevins, Dominion Virginia Power’s vice president of distribution operations, told a forum in Richmond on Virginia’s energy future Thursday.

“There’s no single answer for improved reliability,” Blevins said at the forum organized by the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.

Dominion — the state’s largest electric utility, serving 2.3 million customers — will spend $180 million this year to improve the reliability of its system, Blevins said. Since 2005, the company has reduced the average customer interruption by 22 percent, down to 105 minutes.

Blevins said that while underground lines are significantly more expensive to install and maintain than lines strung on poles, restoring power after a storm also is expensive, typically costing Dominion $4 million to $14 million per day of outage.

Text Only
Virginia State News
West Virginia State News
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Sister Newspapers' News