Archive | December, 2011

Dominion’s New 230kV Line

A feature in T&D World Magazine on Dominion’s New 230kV Line.  This project featured Underground Devices 8″ Wunpeece Duct Spacers to support the conduits for this underground transmission line.


8" Wunpeece Duct Spacers

8" Wunpeece Duct Spacers

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Storm outages may spur underground lines

Ken Dixon, Staff Writer
Published 08:46 a.m., Thursday, December 8, 2011

HARTFORD — The state should consider innovative ways to provide electricity and develop public-private partnerships to allow multiple utilities to pay for new underground lines, according to the state’s environmental commissioner.

Daniel C. Esty, commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, told the governor’s Two Storm Panel on Wednesday that as lines are dug in upcoming years to utilize new natural-gas discoveries in New York and Pennsylvania, they could become multi-use.

In fact, it could be a “quintuple play” if electric and broadband lines were put underground and old combined storm and sanitary sewer lines were separated alongside the new gas lines.

That would address the complaints from electric utilities including United Illuminating and Connecticut Light & Power about the $1 million to $2 million per-mile cost of burying electric lines.

Esty said “distributed generation” authorized by the General Assembly in 2005 and 2007, could allow for non-centralized energy generators — such as fuel cells and gas turbines in town centers, hospitals, prisons, sewage plants, gas stations and grocery stores — to operate when power fails on a massive scale like it did during the October snowstorm and Tropical Storm Irene.

“I think everyone feels like there is a value in at least fleshing out the concept here,” Esty told the panel. “The possibility of actually building out a micro-grid structure is much easier for us than most anywhere else. It might well be the foundation for a 21st century electricity system that is much more robust than what we had going back.”

Such a system could cost $500 million to $1 billion statewide, Esty said, noting that local communities could undertake their own efforts, under the technical guidance of the DEEP.

He told the panel it would have to be understood as an investment in “infrastructure resilience” and would be insurance against the high costs of recovering from major storms and mass power outages.

Esty believes that the state should develop performance requirements for the recovery of electric utilities after major outages. While Massachusetts law, with the potential for multi-million-dollar penalties has been highlighted to the panel, Esty said that to date no fines have resulted there.

“I still think having performance standards makes sense and I think having a series of economic consequences flow from sub-par performance is appropriate,” Esty said. “We are the ones in the public-utility context that have to provide that discipline.”

Esty said that while CL&P had prepared for a 10 percent system-wide outage, UI planned for a 70 percent outage rate. The Two Storm Panel is working on recommendations to give Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on how to prevent wide-scale outages and restore electricity faster when it fails.

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DPL owner urged to improve maintenance

By John Nolan, Staff Writer Updated 6:40 PM Friday, December 16, 2011

An Indianapolis utility owned by AES Corp. needs to do a better job of finding and fixing problems with its electrical system in downtown Indianapolis, according to a consultant’s report commissioned by Indiana utility regulators.

The report examined the operations of Indianapolis Power and Light Co., which AES has owned and operated since 2001. Virginia-based AES took over DPL Inc. and Dayton Power and Light Co. last month in a $3.5 billion acquisition.

The Indianapolis utility needs new technology to identify equipment that could fail in its electric network, O’Neill Management Consulting LLC said in the report commissioned by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. IP&L has a well-designed underground network system, but lacks databases and other modern tools for planning maintenance and replacement of equipment, the O’Neill consulting firm concluded.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission hired the consultant to review IP&L’s operations after a series of manhole explosions over underground utility cable vaults in downtown Indianapolis during recent years, including a May 31 blast just outside the Indiana State Capitol building. Dwane Ingalls, a former AES and IP&L executive, publicly accused IP&L of scrimping and cutting back on maintenance since AES bought it. AES and IP&L denied that, and said the Indianapolis electrical system is safe.

IP&L said it will adopt recommendations of the O’Neill plan, and is already doing some of the things recommended by the consultant. Indiana utility regulators will discuss the report with IP&L at a public meeting Monday morning in Indianapolis.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2242 or

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Wind Damage Creates Extended Power Outage

A windstorm in the Pasadena, California area leaves many customers without power for a prolonged period of time.  The damage caused many tress to fall and utility poles to break, taking the power lines out of service.

Full article information can be found here:  LA Times Article


Underground T&D Upgrades in Australia

In a T&D World article, a plan for underground power upgrades in Queensland Australia by utility Energex is detailed.

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