Category Archives: Technical Options, Issues

Here is where you can offer your comments about such issues as placing power lines underground, safety concerns regarding potential hazards in PSE’s project working near and around Olympic Power Company’s pipelines, etc.

NPR Story Notes Nobody Has Done Sufficient Benefits Analysis of Putting Power Lines Underground

From the article:

“So the bottom line is — nobody knows the bottom line. Nobody’s gone past the cost side of the cost-benefit analysis. Even if cities like Seattle had the money for undergrounding, there’s no way to know if it’s a good investment, and they have little incentive to change how things are done.” Full text: If Power Lines Fall, Why Don’t They Go Underground_ – NPR

Study on Underground Transmission Lines by Wisconsin Public Service Commission

Comprehensive document on types and locations of underground power lines, created for the Wisconsin Public Service Commission: electric11

From the document, on p. 21:

“The most non-debatable reason for choosing underground is in highly urban areas, where acquiring ROW [rights of way] that meets National Electrical Safety Code requirements is difficult or impossible. This makes the added cost of undergrounding acceptable to not being able to route the new line at all.”

In many jurisdictions the National Electrical Safety Code is adopted as law. It is recognized everywhere in the U.S. as setting minimally acceptable standards of safety. An engineer in Newcastle asserts that the widths within which PSE plans to construct and operate the proposed new poles and wires along either L or M are not wide and safe enough to comply with the National Electrical Safety Code.

Also, on pages 7-8 there is reference made to transition stations which some say would be required for putting lines underground for this PSE project, but the document says that would be required only for lines transmitting 345kV or higher. This project contemplates 230kV.