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Talk About Tulsa => Other Tulsa Discussion => Topic started by: TURobY on January 08, 2008, 07:49:02 am



Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: TURobY on January 08, 2008, 07:49:02 am
Tulsa World 1/08/2008 (http://"http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20080108_1_A1_hAEPP06475")
quote:
Utility favors burying of lines


By JASON WOMACK World Staff Writer
1/8/2008


AEP-PSO tells regu- lators its storm tab may be $100 million; under- ground benefit cited.


OKLAHOMA CITY -- AEP-PSO told regulators Monday the recent ice storm could cost the company up to $100 million, and advocated doubling efforts to bury its power lines.

During a public meeting with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the utility said it could complete putting power lines underground in 10 to 12 years by increasing customers' electricity bills by 25 cents per month.

"If we can get those radial overhead inaccessible lines underground, there would be a tremendous benefit," said Steve Penrose, AEP-PSO distribution system support manager.

American Electric Power-Public Service Company of Oklahoma said its customers have experienced a 50 percent reduction in outage minutes in areas where it has moved existing overhead power lines below ground.

In 2005, AEP-PSO began a program to improve reliability across its customer base. It embarked on a tree-trimming program and started burying power lines. So far, AEP-PSO has buried lines in more than 20 Tulsa area neighborhoods.

The utility estimates at the current rate it will complete the conversion of overhead lines to underground lines in 25 years. The program is funded by customers through an electricity bill rider of about $2 per month.

AEP-PSO recommended the accelerated program at the urging of the OCC, the state agency that regulates utilities. The OCC is prohibited from interfering with management discretion; however it can determine what costs the utility can recover through rates.

The commission can also take steps to ensure reliability.

The three-member commission called on AEP-PSO and Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. to carefully examine the costs and benefits of placing lines underground after the ice storm that struck Tulsa on Dec. 9 left hundreds of thousands of people without power.

The storm uprooted trees, snapped more than 1,000 utility poles and severed power to about half of AEP-PSO's 520,000 customers.

The utility has not yet determined the final cost of the storm. But preliminary estimates put AEP-PSO's storm recovery costs at $90 million to $100 million.

OG&E offered an estimate of $50 million.

In addition to costs to the utilities, the state of Oklahoma's two disaster requests so far total about $49 million in damages. However, that preliminary figure only includes costs for debris removal and expenses for utilities that qualify for public assistance, such as rural electric cooperatives and municipally operated electric systems, said Michelann Ooten, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

In many cases, officials haven't yet included overtime expenses, emergency protective measures, or damage to roads and bridges, drainage channels, parks and buildings and equipment.

Ooten said it would likely be weeks before a comprehensive total is available.

Preston Kissman, AEP-PSO vice president of distribution, said the storm costs are still rising as broken limbs continue to fall from storm-ravaged trees.

"We are constantly going out and taking limbs off lines and correcting outages," Kissman told the commission.

"So it's still going on?" Commission Chairman Jeff Cloud asked.

"It's likely to be going on for several months," Kissman said.

AEP-PSO is expected to recover those costs through its rates, pending regulatory approval.

"Be assured that Oklahoma consumers will be asked to pay for that recovery," Assistant Attorney General Bill Humes said. "That is the equivalent of the last several rate cases."

Humes, who represents consumers in rate cases, maintained that the utilities should first examine the success of its tree-trimming program before asking ratepayers to absorb the additional costs of an accelerated program to place lines below ground.

The cost of putting lines underground could run from about $600,000 per mile up to $1 million per mile, the utilities said.

"People need to understand that this is not a decision of whether or not we are going to underground," Humes said following the meeting. "They are going to be asked to pay the million-dollar freight."

The process of burying lines has met with resistance in Tulsa. The city's Maple Ridge neighborhood rejected AEP-PSO's attempt to bury lines, citing aesthetic concerns.

AEP-PSO migrates overhead lines from behind homes to the front. It then buries those lines and places a green box that houses a transformer in the yard of every third or fourth home.

Clayton Vaughn, a resident of Maple Ridge, said the boxes affect home values and the character of the neighborhood and has asked the utility to consider a different method.

"We were never opposed to undergrounding, just the boxes in the yard," he said.

The OCC has asked its staff to examine the costs presented during the meeting and compare them with other state programs.

The commission will then schedule a formal hearing on the matter.

"We will try to move as quickly as we can," Cloud said.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: inteller on January 08, 2008, 07:57:17 am
this is just lip service.  they have been 'considering' buried lines for a long time.

until I start seeing feeder lines buried, I'm not holding my breath.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on January 08, 2008, 08:02:14 am
They've been burying lines for awhile. My guess is this might be some sort of initial step to push for more money to bury the lines.

I'm guessing feeders will be last.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: cannon_fodder on January 08, 2008, 08:50:47 am
I hope they bury the MAIN lines.  The feeder lines are not worth the money IMHO, but burying some of the problem mains would - I think, be half the battle for 10% of the cost.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: inteller on January 08, 2008, 10:22:45 am
quote:
Originally posted by cannon_fodder

I hope they bury the MAIN lines.  The feeder lines are not worth the money IMHO, but burying some of the problem mains would - I think, be half the battle for 10% of the cost.



i'd like to know what your definition of MAIN line is because I think it is the same as feeder line.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on January 08, 2008, 10:27:41 am
I think CF is thinking of the drop lines.

Keep in mind there were extremely few high-voltage transmission line (to the substation) outages.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: inteller on January 08, 2008, 10:31:40 am
quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

I think CF is thinking of the drop lines.

Keep in mind there were extremely few high-voltage transmission line (to the substation) outages.



probably, but I'll await his answer.

but let me put it in simple terms.  The lines running up and down roads on tall wooden polls need to be replaced.  Those polls snapped off from the ice, no help from falling limbs needed.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on January 08, 2008, 10:51:12 am
quote:
Originally posted by inteller

quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

I think CF is thinking of the drop lines.

Keep in mind there were extremely few high-voltage transmission line (to the substation) outages.



probably, but I'll await his answer.

but let me put it in simple terms.  The lines running up and down roads on tall wooden polls need to be replaced.  Those polls snapped off from the ice, no help from falling limbs needed.



Those are the distribution lines and are the goal of the undergrounding. The super-tall wood and metal poles probably aren't.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: cannon_fodder on January 08, 2008, 11:22:11 am
I'm not a linesmen, and frankly - I don't care what they call them.  I think it would be economical to put lines underground that either feed a large area and/or have frequent weather related outages.

I'd prefer all underground, but at $1mil a mile that's not going to happen anytime soon.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on January 08, 2008, 11:24:37 am
I can realistically see giving a higher priority to those lines that are routinely struck by traffic and serve 1500+ customers.
http://www.tulsanow.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7307

For the "directional boring" experts here, is AEP still overstating the actual costs per mile?

It's still an uphill battle when the cost of undergrounding is borne by AEP investors while the costs of coping with failing overhead lines is borne by AEP customers.
http://www.tulsanow.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8120


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on January 08, 2008, 01:44:18 pm
quote:
Originally posted by patric


For the "directional boring" experts here, is AEP still overstating the actual costs per mile?



I know in BA they are buying all new easement space for the lines which adds to the cost.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: tulsa1603 on January 08, 2008, 04:48:04 pm
quote:
Originally posted by patric

I can realistically see giving a higher priority to those lines that are routinely struck by traffic and serve 1500+ customers.
http://www.tulsanow.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7307

For the "directional boring" experts here, is AEP still overstating the actual costs per mile?

It's still an uphill battle when the cost of undergrounding is borne by AEP investors while the costs of coping with failing overhead lines is borne by AEP customers.
http://www.tulsanow.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8120



In 2001, for a project I designed where what were originally two lots were combined into one, we were quoted $40,000 for approximately 200 feet of rerouted and buried line.  That works out to approximately $200 per foot of buried line.  $1,000,000 spread over 5,280 feet in a mile is $190 per foot.  Considering that this is 6 years later, I guess that sounds right.  

Also, my understanding is that as they bury power lines, you'll still have poles with phone and cable on them, so it's kind of a half a$$ed way of doing it.  Of course, on our project, all we had to do was call phone and cable companies, and they were glad to bury the lines at no charge to us, as long as they could use the same trench.  A phone rep actually told me that they preferred burying all lines because they have more maintenance issues due to squirrels and other vermin chewing the lines.  Kind of interesting.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: PonderInc on January 08, 2008, 08:26:54 pm
I think it's interesting that the phone company has been burying lines for the past 20 some years at no added cost to the consumer.  Did SWB have a bigger margin to begin with...or were they just better at customer service?  

We lost our power for 10 days in the ice storm of 1986 (or was it 1987?), and twenty years later lost it for...10 days.  This isn't a new issue for PSO...so I think it's weird that progress has been so slow.

By the way, I'd pay a small rate hike if someone would bury every line on Harvard Ave.  What an ungodly eyesore!


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: dggriffi on January 08, 2008, 10:07:59 pm
i have rental property and i know that they have come in and replaced the lines to two of my houses with buried lines.   Funny thing is they didn't say anything to me about it and they even ran a new line through the attic to the breaker boxes.  The tenant just let them in without ever telling me.

Not that i mind but it was odd to go out and find a new box on the side of your house.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on January 08, 2008, 10:59:54 pm
quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

I think it's interesting that the phone company has been burying lines for the past 20 some years at no added cost to the consumer.  Did SWB have a bigger margin to begin with...or were they just better at customer service?


It was like that with PSO before AEP took over.
When I buried the line between our meter and the pole, I provided the meter box and trench to PSO's specifications, and at no additional charge they provided the wire and hooked it up at both ends.

Now with AEP, the same job starts at $2,000 and goes up (while aerial service is no charge) which really seems to be just a way to discourage customers from asking for undergrounding.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on January 09, 2008, 08:54:34 am
quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

I think it's interesting that the phone company has been burying lines for the past 20 some years at no added cost to the consumer.  Did SWB have a bigger margin to begin with...or were they just better at customer service?  



SWB rents pole space from PSO so they have a constant cost to use above ground. PSO already paid for the poles, they look to lose their rent money by undergrounding (not counting the actual expense itself.)


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: cannon_fodder on January 09, 2008, 09:22:22 am
Phone companies can bury lines as a cost saving maneuver - they do not own the easements nor poles on which the lines ran so they had to rent them.  They acquired utility easement rights in a lawsuit and by burying their lines don't have to "rent" pole space.

Some even had the foresight to bury lines in large enough conduit to run additional/new cables in the future.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on February 26, 2008, 10:30:26 pm
At the moment of this writing, millions in and around Florida are without power now due to the failure of an aging, neglected electrical infrastructure.  Where there is power, debates are raging about our nations lack of commitment to the upkeep of that infrastructure, and fingers are being pointed at utilities who operate the grid at capacity and just collect revenue instead of insuring the system remains reliable.

With that in mind, check out the debate on burying utilities at the site of the I-44 construction:    


There's a new wrinkle in a road widening project. The issue is whether the utility lines that will be moved, should be moved underground. The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports PSO is only burying lines in neighborhoods where there are lots of trees, where the residents are agreeable to the work. On Tuesday they were asked to consider burying larger lines, but the cost is staggering.

This is another front in the battle over whether power lines should be above or below ground. Transmission and distribution lines serve businesses and homes on 51st Street between Harvard and Lewis. They'll be moved during the widening of I-44, but as of now they'll move but remain above ground.

"They should seize this opportunity and bury them," said Building Owner Terri Heritage.

The situation prompted a discussion by the city council about whether PSO should be required to bury lines during big street projects.

"Those main arterial circuits, there is no program in place right now at all to start placing those underground," said Steve Penrose with AEP PSO.

PSO figures it would cost $18 million to bury this one mile of power lines. The power company says the money would be better spent burying lines in neighborhoods, as it's done in some places, because tree limbs cause most of the problems and the big lines are not usually affected. The city council wants more lines put underground, but doesn't want to have to pay for it.

"If we paid to bury the power lines, the long range effect of that would be less projects, street widening, and that's important right now, but I think, I want to put the burden on AEP PSO," said Bill Christiansen with the Tulsa City Council.

The cost of installing power lines below ground in new areas is about the same as above ground, but moving existing lines underground can costs 20 times as much. The council suggested PSO ask the state to pay at least some of the cost of burying the lines along 51st street and should ask for more rate increases to speed up burying lines in neighborhoods.


The rest of the story: http://www.newson6.com/global/story.asp?s=7929764


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on February 27, 2008, 06:03:14 am
Who pays relocation costs now? I assume it is budgeted in with the road project. If you prefere underground, then why should that be budgeted as well? At least partially.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on March 13, 2008, 10:23:03 pm
More love from our "Corporation Commission":

Instead of re-investing their profits in the upkeep and reliability of their infrastructure, AEP is being allowed to gouge the ratepayers with the cost of patching the system back together.  
...but the new increase in rates isnt a "rate increase."  Go figure.
 

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Public Service Company of Oklahoma will be able to recover $12.6 million in storm damages without changing ratepayers' bills under an agreement approved today by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission

The electric power company suffered losses during ice storms in January and December of 2007. Under the formula approved today, the company can recover the costs from the January storm without raising its rates.

PSO has until August 1 to file its claimed actual cost for damage recovery from the December storm. Under the agreement, PSO estimated the total costs from the December storm to be $70 million.

If the Corporation Commission approves that amount, PSO estimates ratepayers' bills will increase by $1.40 a month during a 5-year span. The extra charge would not be considered a rate increase.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on March 14, 2008, 05:19:06 am
It's not considered a rate increase because it is not affected by a rate case and it ends in 5 years.

PSO makes a profit?


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on April 08, 2008, 12:58:28 pm
Take the Corporation Commission's survey and make your voice heard on buried utilities:

http://utilitysurvey.occeweb.com/


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: inteller on April 08, 2008, 01:09:44 pm
oh, I see utilities have learned something from the 'COGs.  Implement a "fee" and keep re-upping it every time it comes around for renewwal.

scum.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: grahambino on April 08, 2008, 01:29:32 pm
quote:
Originally posted by patric

Take the Corporation Commission's survey and make your voice heard on buried utilities:

http://utilitysurvey.occeweb.com/



thanks for the link.
filled it out.

FWIW.  i'd pay $2-3 extra a month (whatever the middle choice was) to bury lines.

that being said, if the stockholders of AEP don't get their .41 dividend and only .21 a share, next year to pay for burying lines, you arent going to see me losing any sleep over that.  


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on April 18, 2008, 12:46:38 pm
And the survey results:

According to study results released by the commission's Public Utility Division, customers incurred considerable costs due to the storm and most are willing to pay for burying power lines.
http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/article.aspx?subjectID=49&articleID=20080418_49_E1_spancl730256

More than half of the 401 customers surveyed said they lost an average of $304 due to food that had spoiled. And a quarter of the respondents said they spent more than $1,200 on home repairs resulting from falling tree branches.

Although three-quarters of the respondents agreed that something should be done to prevent outages and that steps should be taken to ensure that the outages don't happen again, customers differed on how much they would be willing to pay.

Commission Chairman Jeff Cloud said the agency will attempt to balance the costs with the benefits of burying power lines as it continues to examine the issue.

"It comes down to the bottom line and how much it is going to cost," he said.

The results are the first from two surveys conducted by the OCC to gauge the impact of the ice storm.

Thursday's results
include customers of the state's two largest electric utilities, American Electric Power-Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co.

Andrew Tevington, deputy director of the Public Utility Division, said the study also found that retail sales were up $152 million as customers purchased chain saws, generators and other supplies needed to weather the storm.

"It appears businesses made more than they were expected to in December," he said.

More than half of the customers surveyed said they would be willing to pay $1 or more per month to bury lines, and about a quarter of the respondents would be willing to pay $1.01 to $2.50 per month.

Customers would rather pay to put lines underground than pay for tree trimming, according to the survey.

AEP-PSO customers are already paying $2 per month to bury power lines through a rider on their monthly electricity bills. The charge also funds the utility's tree-trimming program.

AEP-PSO, Tulsa's chief power provider, began looking at accelerating its existing program to place lines underground after the Dec. 9 ice storm cut power to about half of its 520,000 customers.

The storm downed trees, snapped utility poles and cut power to more than half a million people across the state.

The utility said the storm was the costliest in its history, causing an estimated $88 million in damage.

OG&E has estimated the damage to its service area at about $50 million.

Burying power lines can be expensive. The utilities estimate that the cost could run from about $600,000 to $1 million per mile.

Under an accelerated program, AEP-PSO estimates that it could complete burying lines in 10 to 12 years.

Utility customers, however, would see an increase in their monthly bills.

AEP-PSO estimates that the program would cost customers an additional 25 cents per month in the first year. That amount would double the next year, with additional increases to follow.

The utility has yet to file a formal proposal with the commission, but it did present preliminary costs during a January meeting.

Cloud said the commission will likely address the matter before winter.

Stan Whiteford, a spokesman for AEP-PSO, said the utility will continue to cooperate with the commission as it examines the issue of burying lines.

"If that's the way they want to go, we're agreeable," he said.

The OCC is also conducting an online survey to gather information about the impact of the storm on customers. The survey is available on the commission's Web site, at www.tulsaworld.com/occ.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on April 18, 2008, 12:59:40 pm
How about we increase it a dollar immediately like people responded and get to work instead of just raising it a quarter and easing into it?


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on April 21, 2008, 10:59:37 am
quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

How about we increase it a dollar immediately like people responded and get to work instead of just raising it a quarter and easing into it?



I would go for that, in lieu of the rate "adjustment" where were paying the next five years to rebuild the overhead system to pre- ice storm vulnerability.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Breadburner on April 21, 2008, 12:52:12 pm
quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

How about we increase it a dollar immediately like people responded and get to work instead of just raising it a quarter and easing into it?



That works for me.....


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on June 02, 2008, 10:15:14 pm
AEP grossly overstates the cost of burying power lines again...
http://www.fox23.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoId=28941@video.fox23.com&navCatId=5

It was only 70,000 customers without power this time (about 16,000 still without, as of this writing).


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Wilbur on June 03, 2008, 05:49:32 am
Buried lines do not equal no power loss.  I've been without power three times in the last two weeks and all of us have buried lines around here.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on June 03, 2008, 09:06:29 am
quote:
Originally posted by Wilbur

Buried lines do not equal no power loss.  I've been without power three times in the last two weeks and all of us have buried lines around here.



Burying the lines in a neighborhood without burying the feeder lines that supply them shouldnt count as "buried lines".
Look at the feeders that run along Lewis ave south of 21st street (that's only inches from the curb) to see how vulnerable they are.

A single car accident can take out 15,000 customers.  Something very negligent about operating with that degree of "reliability".


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Steve on June 03, 2008, 09:25:29 pm
I have a big question for AEP on this subject.

During the Dec. 2007 ice storm, one of the few Tulsa neighborhoods that sustained the least outage damage was the Leisure Lanes subdivision between 69th E. Ave/71st E. Ave and 15th/21st Street in Tulsa.  My neice lives in this neighborhood and I went over there often to take refuge.  They never lost power.  Yet, in January 2008, PSO commenced to bury all the power lines in this neighborhood.  Just plain crazy.  Why did they bury the lines in Leisure Lanes, when so many other areas experience more frequent outages?


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Red Arrow on June 03, 2008, 09:57:04 pm
quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

How about we increase it a dollar immediately like people responded and get to work instead of just raising it a quarter and easing into it?



I have electric service to a building without living quarters. PSO calls that commercial.  The land lease prohibits commercial use. Last year my rate for no electricity use (zero kilowatt hours) went from about $18/mo to $32/mo.  I don't believe PSO when they say "small" increase.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: mrB on June 03, 2008, 10:33:33 pm
quote:
Originally posted by Steve

I have a big question for AEP on this subject.

During the Dec. 2007 ice storm, one of the few Tulsa neighborhoods that sustained the least outage damage was the Leisure Lanes subdivision between 69th E. Ave/71st E. Ave and 15th/21st Street in Tulsa.  My neice lives in this neighborhood and I went over there often to take refuge.  They never lost power.  Yet, in January 2008, PSO commenced to bury all the power lines in this neighborhood.  Just plain crazy.  Why did they bury the lines in Leisure Lanes, when so many other areas experience more frequent outages?



Leisure Lanes & Moeller Heights [1 block immediately east] neighborhoods were already scheduled for conversion. And although Leisure Lanes had power in Dec07 ice storm, Moeller Heights did not. My in-law's power was out for two weeks in Dec07. It was out again this last weekend. It has been out several times and usually with the slightest of winds. I'm glad it's being buried in that neighborhood.

Sure the green boxes look bad, but minimal landscaping can make them less obtrusive. I know of someone in Ranch Acres [recently converted/buried] who requested PSO pay for the landscaping. PSO balked at the estimated price to hide the box, but ultimately paid for it in full.

Here are some links with their answers to WHY & WHO

PSO Underground conversions
[http://www.psoklahoma.com/news/underground/]

PSO FAQ about overhead to underground projects
[http://www.psoklahoma.com/news/underground/docs/OHtoUGGenericQAAug07.pdf]



Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Steve on June 03, 2008, 10:57:59 pm
quote:
Originally posted by mrB

quote:
Originally posted by Steve

I have a big question for AEP on this subject.

During the Dec. 2007 ice storm, one of the few Tulsa neighborhoods that sustained the least outage damage was the Leisure Lanes subdivision between 69th E. Ave/71st E. Ave and 15th/21st Street in Tulsa.  My neice lives in this neighborhood and I went over there often to take refuge.  They never lost power.  Yet, in January 2008, PSO commenced to bury all the power lines in this neighborhood.  Just plain crazy.  Why did they bury the lines in Leisure Lanes, when so many other areas experience more frequent outages?



Leisure Lanes & Moeller Heights [1 block immediately east] neighborhoods were already scheduled for conversion. And although Leisure Lanes had power in Dec07 ice storm, Moeller Heights did not. My in-law's power was out for two weeks in Dec07. It was out again this last weekend. It has been out several times and usually with the slightest of winds. I'm glad it's being buried in that neighborhood.



I am very familiar with the Leisure Lanes/Moeller Heights area as I grew up there in the 1960s and my parents built one of the first homes on 20th Street at 69th E Ave in 1960.  My point is why is PSO burying the lines in these neighborhoods when so many older areas of Tulsa have much more frequent outages and a much higher priority for buried power lines?  The priorities don't make any sense.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: mrB on June 04, 2008, 12:21:47 am
quote:
Originally posted by Steve

quote:
Originally posted by mrB

quote:
Originally posted by Steve

I have a big question for AEP on this subject.

During the Dec. 2007 ice storm, one of the few Tulsa neighborhoods that sustained the least outage damage was the Leisure Lanes subdivision between 69th E. Ave/71st E. Ave and 15th/21st Street in Tulsa.  My neice lives in this neighborhood and I went over there often to take refuge.  They never lost power.  Yet, in January 2008, PSO commenced to bury all the power lines in this neighborhood.  Just plain crazy.  Why did they bury the lines in Leisure Lanes, when so many other areas experience more frequent outages?



Leisure Lanes & Moeller Heights [1 block immediately east] neighborhoods were already scheduled for conversion. And although Leisure Lanes had power in Dec07 ice storm, Moeller Heights did not. My in-law's power was out for two weeks in Dec07. It was out again this last weekend. It has been out several times and usually with the slightest of winds. I'm glad it's being buried in that neighborhood.



I am very familiar with the Leisure Lanes/Moeller Heights area as I grew up there in the 1960s and my parents built one of the first homes on 20th Street at 69th E Ave in 1960.  My point is why is PSO burying the lines in these neighborhoods when so many older areas of Tulsa have much more frequent outages and a much higher priority for buried power lines?  The priorities don't make any sense.



I agree with you! It does seem like other areas would be higher priorities. I'm sure anybody that went more than four days in Dec07 felt like they should be a priority.

Did PSO talk with your neice's neighborhood before starting the project? Maybe they met less resistance than in places like Maple Ridge?

I feel for anybody [you said you sought refuge] that had to endure the power outage Dec07. We were able to have our in-law stay with us. I was very lucky with an outage of only 24hrs due to buried lines in my neighborhood. But went through it in the '80s.

My real guess about selection criteria would be direct costs to complete the project dictate who gets converted.

FROM = FAQ about overhead to underground projects http://www.psoklahoma.com/news/underground/docs/OHtoUGGenericQAAug07.pdf

What are the criteria for selecting neighborhoods to convert from overhead
distribution service to underground?
Selection criteria for conversion, include:
Inaccessibility of electric facilities for maintenance and repair,
Age of the PSO facilities,
Electric service reliability problems that are increasing but have not yet reached a
level where immediate relief is needed through the much quicker method of tree
removal and tree trimming,
Terrain conducive to the installation of an underground utility system (for example,
an acceptable level of rockiness in the soil).


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Wilbur on June 04, 2008, 04:51:48 am
quote:
Originally posted by patric

quote:
Originally posted by Wilbur

Buried lines do not equal no power loss.  I've been without power three times in the last two weeks and all of us have buried lines around here.



Burying the lines in a neighborhood without burying the feeder lines that supply them shouldnt count as "buried lines".
Look at the feeders that run along Lewis ave south of 21st street (that's only inches from the curb) to see how vulnerable they are.

A single car accident can take out 15,000 customers.  Something very negligent about operating with that degree of "reliability".


On one of the local news programs, PSO says buried lines allow them to get more customers back on line faster.  When the fix the feeder, everyone on that feeder gets power back.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: jne on June 04, 2008, 08:41:53 am
quote:
Originally posted by Wilbur

Buried lines do not equal no power loss.  I've been without power three times in the last two weeks and all of us have buried lines around here.



Well, this was the third time this year that we've collected at a buddy's place who maintained power.(If they do lose power, it  is always a very short down time)  I don't think its any coincidence that the lines are buried in their neighborhood.  Every time our power goes out, we grab a bottle of wine and some good beer and head over there to find 5 or 6 other mid-town friends of ours who don't have power.  However, we did have to spend a lot of time at home this round because of concern for our pets in the extreme heat.

Just got our power back at about 3:30 yesterday!

This time I spent a little time driving around our friends neighborhood to check out the infamous green box.  The funny thing is that I never found a single box while driving around the neighborhood and our friends didn't know of any.  Maybe they are in backyards there?


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on June 04, 2008, 10:32:37 am
If a neighborhood never had overhead ilines, their boxes may be in the back. If they are being converted, AEP can't get their digging equipment, cable spools, transformers, concrete, etc in the back yard due to fences, sheds, pool, etc. It is cheaper and easier to buy a new easement in the front.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: cannon_fodder on June 04, 2008, 10:53:33 am
Underground lines prevent power loss in the neighborhood to the extent that localized line damage causes the neighborhood to lose power.  My area (and JNE) lose power because of small lines effecting individual blocks.  As is often the case.

If these lines were underground the loss of power would be limited to feeder lines.  Basically, there would be less lines that have to be fixed to get power back.  Put the feeder lines underground and only larger transmission lines would be an issue... and so on.

Of course there are SOME problems with underground lines, but 95% of our power failures are due to find or ice.  Which does not effect underground cables.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: jackbristow on June 04, 2008, 12:32:28 pm
quote:
Originally posted by mrB
Sure the green boxes look bad, but minimal landscaping can make them less obtrusive. I know of someone in Ranch Acres [recently converted/buried] who requested PSO pay for the landscaping. PSO balked at the estimated price to hide the box, but ultimately paid for it in full.



I tend to think that the green boxes look a lot better than power lines running all over the place.  The view of the sky, trees, sunsets, etc. is so much better without looking at utility poles and power lines!


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: grahambino on June 04, 2008, 01:09:38 pm
quote:
Originally posted by jackbristow

quote:
Originally posted by mrB
Sure the green boxes look bad, but minimal landscaping can make them less obtrusive. I know of someone in Ranch Acres [recently converted/buried] who requested PSO pay for the landscaping. PSO balked at the estimated price to hide the box, but ultimately paid for it in full.



I tend to think that the green boxes look a lot better than power lines running all over the place.  The view of the sky, trees, sunsets, etc. is so much better without looking at utility poles and power lines!



no joke.
i spent a considerable portion of my childhood in Edmond and we had a 'ugly green box' in the front of the house, on the easement between our driveway and the neighbors...bfd.

if the reason is try to preserve the 'beauty' of Peoria, say between 51st and 41st....seriously?
have you looked down any major street in Tulsa?  Its a mess.  A tangle of poles, different set-backs & heights of signs, ridiculous signs (giant panda buffet signs, giant teeth) on and on...  

There is a reason why several streets (Sheridan) in Tulsa are thought of as the ugliest in America.



Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on June 06, 2008, 10:26:49 am
The Corporation Commission released part of their report on the ice storm response by electric utilities Wednesday...
 
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectID=11&articleID=20080605_49_A11_spancl720940

'The report contends, however, that burying all electric infrastructure would be too expensive and is simply not possible.

The price to bury all transmission lines in the state would run $27 billion and have a potential impact of $270 per month on customer bills.

Instead, the report recommends a more measured response that includes burying new transmission lines and burying power lines when it is requested by a majority of neighborhood residents. It also calls for burying some distribution lines when the wire is replaced as part of regular maintenance.'

If they are using costs supplied to them by AEP (the grossly over-estimated ones they've been using to scare people away from undergrounding) then it's no surprise that it's "too expensive".

At the very least, PSO should be using undergrounding for all new construction, but they continue to set new poles to this date -- new poles that they will argue will be to expensive to bury later.

You get the impression the Corporation Commission doesnt really work for us...


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Ttowndad on June 06, 2008, 02:09:55 pm
I agree.  We were without power long enough during the ice storm to make me a huge proponent of burying them all.  We live in midtown and about every time the wind kicks up past 25mph or so we lose power.  I say lets get on with it!
quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

How about we increase it a dollar immediately like people responded and get to work instead of just raising it a quarter and easing into it?



Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: breitee on June 06, 2008, 02:26:22 pm
quote:
Originally posted by jackbristow

quote:
Originally posted by mrB
Sure the green boxes look bad, but minimal landscaping can make them less obtrusive. I know of someone in Ranch Acres [recently converted/buried] who requested PSO pay for the landscaping. PSO balked at the estimated price to hide the box, but ultimately paid for it in full.



I tend to think that the green boxes look a lot better than power lines running all over the place.  The view of the sky, trees, sunsets, etc. is so much better without looking at utility poles and power lines!




You will still have the poles to carry the wires for telephone and cable.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on June 06, 2008, 02:33:24 pm
quote:
Originally posted by patric

The Corporation Commission released part of their report on the ice storm response by electric utilities Wednesday...
 
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectID=11&articleID=20080605_49_A11_spancl720940

'The report contends, however, that burying all electric infrastructure would be too expensive and is simply not possible.

The price to bury all transmission lines in the state would run $27 billion and have a potential impact of $270 per month on customer bills.

Instead, the report recommends a more measured response that includes burying new transmission lines and burying power lines when it is requested by a majority of neighborhood residents. It also calls for burying some distribution lines when the wire is replaced as part of regular maintenance.'

If they are using costs supplied to them by AEP (the grossly over-estimated ones they've been using to scare people away from undergrounding) then it's no surprise that it's "too expensive".

At the very least, PSO should be using undergrounding for all new construction, but they continue to set new poles to this date -- new poles that they will argue will be to expensive to bury later.

You get the impression the Corporation Commission doesnt really work for us...




Estimates nationwide go from $2M to $6M per mile, not counting the costs to buy a new right of way from every single property owner in the state.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Townsend on June 06, 2008, 03:35:18 pm
quote:
Originally posted by breitee

quote:
Originally posted by jackbristow

quote:
Originally posted by mrB
Sure the green boxes look bad, but minimal landscaping can make them less obtrusive. I know of someone in Ranch Acres [recently converted/buried] who requested PSO pay for the landscaping. PSO balked at the estimated price to hide the box, but ultimately paid for it in full.



I tend to think that the green boxes look a lot better than power lines running all over the place.  The view of the sky, trees, sunsets, etc. is so much better without looking at utility poles and power lines!




You will still have the poles to carry the wires for telephone and cable.



That's a lot less wire in the air and it's a start.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: jne on June 06, 2008, 03:55:10 pm
quote:
Originally posted by breitee

quote:
Originally posted by jackbristow

quote:
Originally posted by mrB
Sure the green boxes look bad, but minimal landscaping can make them less obtrusive. I know of someone in Ranch Acres [recently converted/buried] who requested PSO pay for the landscaping. PSO balked at the estimated price to hide the box, but ultimately paid for it in full.



I tend to think that the green boxes look a lot better than power lines running all over the place.  The view of the sky, trees, sunsets, etc. is so much better without looking at utility poles and power lines!




You will still have the poles to carry the wires for telephone and cable.



People still use wired telephones?  I can get by w/out cable - Even in sub-zero temps and 100 degree heat.  Has there ever been any discussion of bundling other service lines underground as well?  Don't they already rent pole space from the utility company?


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: waterboy on June 06, 2008, 05:57:49 pm
I would gladly accept underground utilities. Those who think Maple Ridge is of one mind about that are wrong. We're sick of losing power in average storms. And bundling them makes great sense. That's why you can't do it. My understanding from lineman for both cable and AT&T is that by law they cannot be within a foot of each other.



Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Steve on June 06, 2008, 06:21:20 pm
quote:
Originally posted by mrB

quote:
Originally posted by Steve

quote:
Originally posted by mrB

quote:
Originally posted by Steve

I have a big question for AEP on this subject.

During the Dec. 2007 ice storm, one of the few Tulsa neighborhoods that sustained the least outage damage was the Leisure Lanes subdivision between 69th E. Ave/71st E. Ave and 15th/21st Street in Tulsa.  My neice lives in this neighborhood and I went over there often to take refuge.  They never lost power.  Yet, in January 2008, PSO commenced to bury all the power lines in this neighborhood.  Just plain crazy.  Why did they bury the lines in Leisure Lanes, when so many other areas experience more frequent outages?



Leisure Lanes & Moeller Heights [1 block immediately east] neighborhoods were already scheduled for conversion. And although Leisure Lanes had power in Dec07 ice storm, Moeller Heights did not. My in-law's power was out for two weeks in Dec07. It was out again this last weekend. It has been out several times and usually with the slightest of winds. I'm glad it's being buried in that neighborhood.



I am very familiar with the Leisure Lanes/Moeller Heights area as I grew up there in the 1960s and my parents built one of the first homes on 20th Street at 69th E Ave in 1960.  My point is why is PSO burying the lines in these neighborhoods when so many older areas of Tulsa have much more frequent outages and a much higher priority for buried power lines?  The priorities don't make any sense.



I agree with you! It does seem like other areas would be higher priorities. I'm sure anybody that went more than four days in Dec07 felt like they should be a priority.

Did PSO talk with your neice's neighborhood before starting the project? Maybe they met less resistance than in places like Maple Ridge?



I asked my neice Jill about this and if PSO took a neighborhood survey or asked any local opinions before starting the Leisure Lanes conversion.  She said "no," they were just told that PSO was doing the underground conversion and they were given time to make sure their yards were clear and obsticales were removed.  There was no neighborhood meeting or discussion on the matter whatsoever.

The new transformer boxes go down the south side of the street where my neice's house is, but they skip her yard.  I assume the transformer boxes will go on the opposite side of the street where the City water supply lines are; about 10 years ago, the City came down my street and replaced the water supply line, digging up and replacing every driveway/yard on my side of the street.  As for the electric conversion, I only hope the people across the street from me will experience that disruption and have the transformers placed in their yard.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on June 06, 2008, 09:25:59 pm
quote:
Originally posted by jne


People still use wired telephones?  I can get by w/out cable - Even in sub-zero temps and 100 degree heat.  Has there ever been any discussion of bundling other service lines underground as well?  Don't they already rent pole space from the utility company?



I believe it has come up before that they are even less interested in undergrounding.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on June 06, 2008, 10:45:14 pm
quote:
Originally posted by breitee

You will still have the poles to carry the wires for telephone and cable.


Not for long.  The other utilities will migrate underground once AEP no longer wishes to maintain the poles.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on June 06, 2008, 10:48:39 pm
quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle
Estimates nationwide go from $2M to $6M per mile, not counting the costs to buy a new right of way from every single property owner in the state.


at&t didnt buy a right-of-way when they tunneled under my driveway... or do I have a check coming? [;)]


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on June 07, 2008, 10:16:47 am
quote:
Originally posted by patric

quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle
Estimates nationwide go from $2M to $6M per mile, not counting the costs to buy a new right of way from every single property owner in the state.


at&t didnt buy a right-of-way when they tunneled under my driveway... or do I have a check coming? [;)]



They may have already had it. I have a coworker in BA and everyone who got undergrounded got a check and do a bunch of legal stuff.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sauerkraut on June 07, 2008, 02:07:15 pm
I hear underground wires can make it harder to find trouble and power outages can last longer and cost more to fix, alot more, and that extra cost is passed on to you know who.[B)]


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on June 07, 2008, 03:10:45 pm
quote:
Originally posted by sauerkraut

I hear underground wires can make it harder to find trouble and power outages can last longer and cost more to fix, alot more, and that extra cost is passed on to you know who.[B)]


I hear you can hear that from cheap utilities that  let their infrastructure run down.[8D]
If you have lines underground, they arent subject to tornadoes or tree limbs or ice storms or bad drivers (that would be the source of "trouble" 'round here).  The biggest reasons not to bury are storm surges from hurricanes, and what are the odds...


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on July 01, 2008, 12:12:36 pm
AEP gives the Corporation Commission their numbers, and the CC spins it into a smokescreen:

'The cost of burying lines across the state could reach $57 billion.'

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20080701_11_A1_hPOWER765783

Looks like they inflated the figure by including ALL lines - even the huge rural towers that interconnect with other utilities (that you usually never find buried anywhere).
Add this to the inflated price of neighborhood burial and you have an excuse to maintain the status quo of our crumbling infrastructure.

The Corporation Commission sees eliminating trees as the best solution (good news for cut-and-burn land developers).
I see getting a new Corporation Commission before we make any real progress.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on July 01, 2008, 01:01:04 pm
Seems like they took a few things a bit too literally. Some of their suggestions, such as undergrounding during road projects when they have easy access are a no brainer.

I still don't see how the prices are overly inflated.

quote:

In addition, Edmond Electric tried a buried lines project four years ago and found that half of the residents did not even want to pay $400 for meter base conversion, the OCC noted.



AEP says burying would start at $435,000 per mile. AEP inflating numbers?

quote:

...a 2006 Mainland study by the Edison Electric Institute the association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric companies estimates the cost of burying existing overhead power lines at $1 million per mile.



(keep in mind copper prices have increased 30% since 2006)


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on July 01, 2008, 01:19:22 pm
quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

AEP says burying would start at $435,000 per mile. AEP inflating numbers?


I think the quote was "$435,000 and $2.5 million per mile."


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on December 09, 2008, 02:56:39 pm
Looks like AEP announced it would come to a halt:


http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20081209_11_A1_AnAspl244445

The instability of the U.S. markets has prompted AEP-PSO to suspend its program to bury overhead lines to protect them from inclement weather, an official said Monday.

Meanwhile, the $2 fee for tree trimming and underground burial will continue to show up on electric bills, Bettinger said.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Townsend on December 09, 2008, 03:20:27 pm
quote:
Originally posted by patric


Meanwhile, the $2 fee for tree trimming and underground burial will continue to show up on electric bills, Bettinger said.




Well jeez Patric, if the commission says it is ok well then it must be ok.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Chicken Little on December 09, 2008, 04:33:34 pm
quote:
"The instability of the U.S. markets has prompted AEP-PSO to suspend its program to bury overhead lines to protect them from inclement weather, an official said Monday."

Ah, the "Price of Tea in China" gambit.  Effing brilliant.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: nathanm on December 09, 2008, 04:37:39 pm
quote:
Originally posted by Chicken Little

Ah, the "Price of Tea in China" gambit.  Effing brilliant.


Yes, what exactly does the state of the credit market have to do with doing something you're getting paid up front to do? Given their laggardly ways, I fail to see how they couldn't have built up a sizable sum for undergrounding by this point.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: sgrizzle on December 09, 2008, 09:20:40 pm
quote:
Originally posted by nathanm

quote:
Originally posted by Chicken Little

Ah, the "Price of Tea in China" gambit.  Effing brilliant.


Yes, what exactly does the state of the credit market have to do with doing something you're getting paid up front to do? Given their laggardly ways, I fail to see how they couldn't have built up a sizable sum for undergrounding by this point.



Large businesses like AEP operate on a line of credit and finance these project and get reimbursed through methods like the $2 fee. When the credit market is poor, it is tough to get cheap, reliable financing. Many businesses are worried enough about financing their day-to-day.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on December 10, 2008, 10:27:03 am
quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

Large businesses like AEP operate on a line of credit and finance these project and get reimbursed through methods like the $2 fee. When the credit market is poor, it is tough to get cheap, reliable financing. Many businesses are worried enough about financing their day-to-day.



Meanwhile AEP is still collecting the fee from the ratepayers that was supposed to cover the cost of NEW undergrounding projects.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: stageidea on December 10, 2008, 11:58:51 am
Isn't Copper currently at an all time low.  I thought they had fallen over the past couple of months by about fifty percent in price.  I would think this would be a better time to be attempting to bury all of the power lines.


Title: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: RecycleMichael on December 10, 2008, 12:52:33 pm
Copper is not at an all time low...but it has plummeted since last summer.

Copper prices are quoted for delivery in 90 days so today's price is for delivery in March. That means copper is a good indictator of the economy.

Copper prices last July were $4.50 per pound and today they are at $1.44.

Copper is used throughout construction projects including wiring, plumbing, heating and cooling, and even some architectural lighting and decor.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on December 11, 2011, 03:29:43 pm
It's been 4 years this week since the BIG ice storm.

AEP pulled a bait-and-switch when it promised burying lines was the main reason for a rate increase, only to renig after Corporation Commission approval in favor of more subsidies for their tree-trimming subcontractor.
Never mind the weight of the ice on the wires alone was enough to snap poles...

So, who bought a generator?  ...anything else Tulsan's did to prepare for the next one?


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Red Arrow on December 11, 2011, 05:15:12 pm
So, who bought a generator?  ...anything else Tulsan's did to prepare for the next one?

I have a small one but it's loud.  My brother borrowed it in 2007 and a day later we needed it. 

I keep talking about buying a whole house generator but haven't stepped up to the price yet.  I also hate the thought of someone messing with our electric system but am not prepared to work on the primary wiring for the automatic switch.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on December 11, 2011, 08:00:48 pm
I have a small one but it's loud.  My brother borrowed it in 2007 and a day later we needed it. 

I keep talking about buying a whole house generator but haven't stepped up to the price yet.  I also hate the thought of someone messing with our electric system but am not prepared to work on the primary wiring for the automatic switch.

The whole-house generators connect to the natural gas line, and are a whole lot quieter than portables.  They generally install near your meter, and look like just another air conditioner.
You might save money on the transfer switch wiring, by only designating your most critical circuits (as opposed to the whole house).
The biggest danger in a temporary setup is someone may have the generator plugged into a dryer outlet and not isolate the house from the pole, sending power backwards into the neighborhood where linemen are trying to work.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Red Arrow on December 11, 2011, 08:33:30 pm
The whole-house generators connect to the natural gas line, and are a whole lot quieter than portables.  They generally install near your meter, and look like just another air conditioner.
You might save money on the transfer switch wiring, by only designating your most critical circuits (as opposed to the whole house).
The biggest danger in a temporary setup is someone may have the generator plugged into a dryer outlet and not isolate the house from the pole, sending power backwards into the neighborhood where linemen are trying to work.

I am aware of the potential problems of backfeeding the line.  One of my uncles invented a sensor that would detect whether the main line was up back in the 70s.  The power companies fought it successfully until the patent ran out.  For the little, 8KW, generator we have extension cords.  Everything can be disconnected from the main power source. 

One of the delays in a whole house generator is that the natural gas line comes in near one end of the back of the house but the electric service is at the other.  The gas service is near the garage rather than the bedrooms which is good for the noise factor.  The circuit breaker panel is in a closet in a bedroom with no real room to add a panel for the switch.  Putting the switch outside by the service entrance and connecting the switch to the circuit breaker panel is the easiest way to connect.  Running the power from the generator to the switch would involve running conduit along the eve of the roof or going underground past/under the back porch.  The price of running 100A service about 80 ft (27 paces) is not going to be trivial with today's price of copper.  The air conditioner outside unit is near the garage so adding a generator next to it would not be a problem.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on December 11, 2011, 08:50:43 pm

One of the delays in a whole house generator is that the natural gas line comes in near one end of the back of the house but the electric service is at the other.  The gas service is near the garage rather than the bedrooms which is good for the noise factor.  The circuit breaker panel is in a closet in a bedroom with no real room to add a panel for the switch.  Putting the switch outside by the service entrance and connecting the switch to the circuit breaker panel is the easiest way to connect.  Running the power from the generator to the switch would involve running conduit along the eve of the roof or going underground past/under the back porch.  The price of running 100A service about 80 ft (27 paces) is not going to be trivial with today's price of copper.  The air conditioner outside unit is near the garage so adding a generator next to it would not be a problem.

Ahhh, come on...that's only 4 awg! 

Just get Colburn Electric in Broken Arrow to run that light weigh aluminum wire that is available now....City of Tulsa inspector will even sign off on it!





Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Red Arrow on December 11, 2011, 09:07:05 pm
Ahhh, come on...that's only 4 awg! 
Just get Colburn Electric in Broken Arrow to run that light weigh aluminum wire that is available now....City of Tulsa inspector will even sign off on it!

I don't want aluminum wiring.  It's OK in commercial applications where someone checks the torque on the connectors annually.  I don't want the hassle.  PLUS, Bixby has to sign off, not Tulsa. I took aluminum starter wire out of my airplane because it had too much voltage drop and replaced it with copper.  4 AWG aluminum may meet code but it doesn't meet my requirements.  At one time I was going to run service to the garage to run a welder (100A service) and dad calculated we needed 4AWG COPPER.  I am not messing with aluminum wiring. End of statement.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on December 11, 2011, 09:27:05 pm
I don't want aluminum wiring.  It's OK in commercial applications where someone checks the torque on the connectors annually.  I don't want the hassle.  PLUS, Bixby has to sign off, not Tulsa. I took aluminum starter wire out of my airplane because it had too much voltage drop and replaced it with copper.  4 AWG aluminum may meet code but it doesn't meet my requirements.  At one time I was going to run service to the garage to run a welder (100A service) and dad calculated we needed 4AWG COPPER.  I am not messing with aluminum wiring. End of statement.

Aluminum doesn't meet code for residential.  (I was definitely kidding about using it!  We need more inflection.)  I would never choose aluminum after landing the incoming service at the meter.  Just too much loss.  (That's why the grid loses 30% of the electricity generated just pushing it down the wire.)

4 awg copper solid conductor would be good for 100 amp, 120/240 vac service.  And to code.  Stranded would also work and be to code - I just like that little extra bit of margin solid gives.  May not be able to get easily get 4 in a solid - haven't looked for that before.  If you could buy some new down hole submersible pump wire in a 4, that would be great to use.  Insulated and armored, and only a major hassle to work with, but it is great stuff!!  Can use for direct burial.  Expensive, too!  Good to 5,000 vac, just not UL rated.

I have an application at 50 amps where I use 100 feet of 6 awg stranded (semi-portable - extension cord) and it works well, but stranded is always my last choice for fixed installations.  But tough to get in those bigger sizes.




Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Red Arrow on December 11, 2011, 09:45:45 pm
Aluminum doesn't meet code for residential.  (I was definitely kidding about using it!  We need more inflection.)  I would never choose aluminum after landing the incoming service at the meter.  Just too much loss.  (That's why the grid loses 30% of the electricity generated just pushing it down the wire.)

4 awg copper solid conductor would be good for 100 amp, 120/240 vac service.  And to code.  Stranded would also work and be to code - I just like that little extra bit of margin solid gives.  May not be able to get easily get 4 in a solid - haven't looked for that before.  If you could buy some new down hole submersible pump wire in a 4, that would be great to use.  Insulated and armored, and only a major hassle to work with, but it is great stuff!!  Can use for direct burial.  Expensive, too!  Good to 5,000 vac, just not UL rated.

I have an application at 50 amps where I use 100 feet of 6 awg stranded (semi-portable - extension cord) and it works well, but stranded is always my last choice for fixed installations.  But tough to get in those bigger sizes.

I can apply terminals up to 2AWG in stranded (T&B non-insulated).  I don't have any tooling for solid wire that large.

Edit:
Need to add that the run for the welder was approaching 100 ft.  Considering the inductive load of the transformers in the welder (which has PF capacitors) we really probably should have considered 2AWG.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: carltonplace on December 12, 2011, 08:24:13 am
It's been 4 years this week since the BIG ice storm.

AEP pulled a bait-and-switch when it promised burying lines was the main reason for a rate increase, only to renig after Corporation Commission approval in favor of more subsidies for their tree-trimming subcontractor.
Never mind the weight of the ice on the wires alone was enough to snap poles...

So, who bought a generator?  ...anything else Tulsan's did to prepare for the next one?

I'm installing a wood burning stove in my fireplace as an alternate heat source in case of blackout. If my place is warm I can stay there without electricity.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: custosnox on December 12, 2011, 01:32:26 pm
I'm installing a wood burning stove in my fireplace as an alternate heat source in case of blackout. If my place is warm I can stay there without electricity.
During the ice storm we just kept a fire burning in the fireplace, and did a LOT of cooking since we had a gas stove.  We closed off all of the bedrooms to keep the warmth in the main areas of the house.  Personally, Lisa and I slept great, all wrapped up in blankets.  Everyone else slept in the living room.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on December 12, 2011, 02:32:15 pm
During the ice storm we just kept a fire burning in the fireplace, and did a LOT of cooking since we had a gas stove.  We closed off all of the bedrooms to keep the warmth in the main areas of the house.  Personally, Lisa and I slept great, all wrapped up in blankets.  Everyone else slept in the living room.

We noticed our fireplace makes the more distal rooms colder, because it's sucking cold fresh air for combustion thru all the cracks.

As far as a natural gas generator, it might cost less to run black iron or CSST gas line to the generator near the electic meter, than to run copper wire to a generator that's not near the meter.  Just make sure you bond/ground the CSST because otherwise lightning will puncture it.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Townsend on December 12, 2011, 02:33:22 pm
During the ice storm we just kept a fire burning in the fireplace, and did a LOT of cooking since we had a gas stove.  We closed off all of the bedrooms to keep the warmth in the main areas of the house.  Personally, Lisa and I slept great, all wrapped up in blankets.  Everyone else slept in the living room.

It was stepping out of the shower that got me.  George Costanza'd big time.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on December 12, 2011, 02:58:37 pm
I can apply terminals up to 2AWG in stranded (T&B non-insulated).  I don't have any tooling for solid wire that large.

Edit:
Need to add that the run for the welder was approaching 100 ft.  Considering the inductive load of the transformers in the welder (which has PF capacitors) we really probably should have considered 2AWG.

I strongly recommend not using terminals ( I presume you are talking like what they use on battery cables - bolt to block end - ring lug style.)  Use a lug in the box.  And if using big stranded wire, you can wrap a 3" length of copper shim, 1/2" wide around the strands before inserting into the lug.  Then tighten down on the wrapped strands.  The shim will keep all the copper together and prevent strands from squirming out from under the screw.

If you insist on terminals, rent the tool to crimp them properly, then solder the lug to the wire (welding shop?).  Provide a strain relief distance out of the terminal before applying any tie downs or clamps.  (6" or more!)

Edit;
I learned the copper strip thing from an old electrician I worked with when I was in the Brotherhood (IBEW).  Also the one who taught me how to check a circuit to see if power is active - put your thumb on neutral (white wire) and brush the line (black wire) with your index finger to see if there is a "tingle".  Not the method I recommend today...






Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Red Arrow on December 12, 2011, 03:17:08 pm
I strongly recommend not using terminals ( I presume you are talking like what they use on battery cables - bolt to block end - ring lug style.)  Use a lug in the box.  And if using big stranded wire, you can wrap a 3" length of copper shim, 1/2" wide around the strands before inserting into the lug.  Then tighten down on the wrapped strands.  The shim will keep all the copper together and prevent strands from squirming out from under the screw.
If you insist on terminals, rent the tool to crimp them properly, then solder the lug to the wire (welding shop?).  Provide a strain relief distance out of the terminal before applying any tie downs or clamps.  (6" or more!)

Depends on how the box is set up. Most of them that I have seen do not need and cannot use a ring tongue terminal. If whatever one is connecting to is only a stud or equivalent, then a ring tongue terminal is in order.  I'm not actively doing anything about the electric service at the moment.  Thanks for the tip on wrapping stranded wire.  I have AMP tooling for PIDG up to 10ga wire, the ratchet type.  Red, Blue, Yellow.  Individual tools for each group. For 8, 6, 4, and 2ga I have a T&B Stakon crimper Cat No WT115.  Since I can't post a picture, I'll try to find a link.


The crimper I own is probably older than most members of this forum, probably from the 50s, no newer than the 60s and does not have the A suffix but the picture is the same. 
http://tnblnx3.tnb.com/emAlbum/albums//Tool%20Service/sk_1_s_wt115a_0_ph.jpg
http://www.tnb.com/ps/fulltilt/index.cgi?part=WT115A



Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on December 12, 2011, 03:53:51 pm
Depends on how the box is set up. Most of them that I have seen do not need and cannot use a ring tongue terminal. If whatever one is connecting to is only a stud or equivalent, then a ring tongue terminal is in order.  I'm not actively doing anything about the electric service at the moment.  Thanks for the tip on wrapping stranded wire.  I have AMP tooling for PIDG up to 10ga wire, the ratchet type.  Red, Blue, Yellow.  Individual tools for each group. For 8, 6, 4, and 2ga I have a T&B Stakon crimper Cat No WT115.  Since I can't post a picture, I'll try to find a link.


The crimper I own is probably older than most members of this forum, probably from the 50s, no newer than the 60s and does not have the A suffix but the picture is the same. 
http://tnblnx3.tnb.com/emAlbum/albums//Tool%20Service/sk_1_s_wt115a_0_ph.jpg
http://www.tnb.com/ps/fulltilt/index.cgi?part=WT115A



Never mind about renting - you got the tool!  I don't have anything that big - mostly I do electronic stuff, so anything bigger than about 6 awg means I get to buy new tools.  Or use the propane torch and solder.



Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Red Arrow on December 12, 2011, 04:03:34 pm
Never mind about renting - you got the tool!  I don't have anything that big - mostly I do electronic stuff, so anything bigger than about 6 awg means I get to buy new tools.  Or use the propane torch and solder.

While looking for the link to the T&B crimper, I think I saw it for sale for only about $120.

I would really like tooling to crimp insulated terminals larger than 10ga but not enough to actually buy them.  I know guy at the airport that has the crimpers for some of the larger insulated sizes.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on December 12, 2011, 04:05:28 pm
While looking for the link to the T&B crimper, I think I saw it for sale for only about $120.

I would really like tooling to crimp insulated terminals larger than 10ga but not enough to actually buy them.  I know guy at the airport that has the crimpers for some of the larger insulated sizes.

I just slip some shrink tube over it before crimping/soldering, then heat it up over the bare parts.  Two layers if want to really be sure.



Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Red Arrow on December 12, 2011, 04:12:00 pm
I just slip some shrink tube over it before crimping/soldering, then heat it up over the bare parts.  Two layers if want to really be sure.

It works but it's the difference between professional appearance and homemade appearance.  We have insulating boots available in the airplane world that cover the entire terminal and the stud/bolt.

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/elpages/termnips.php



Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: custosnox on December 12, 2011, 05:25:05 pm
It was stepping out of the shower that got me.  George Costanza'd big time.
That is why I took showers hot enough to turn the bathroom into a steam room.  By the time I opened the bathroom door to let the cold in, I was dry and dressed.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on November 16, 2018, 11:02:48 am
Power lines keep sparking wildfires. Why dont utility companies bury them?

https://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article221707650.html



Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on November 16, 2018, 12:54:27 pm
Power lines keep sparking wildfires. Why dont utility companies bury them?

https://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article221707650.html




Costs money.  Pure and simple.

Same reason they lose 30% of the power they generate just in line losses before it even gets to your house on those big transmission lines.  Adding wires is easy fix physically, but cost money fix.

There is no "energy crisis" in this country when they can 'afford' to literally throw away 1/3 of the power they generate.  And still sell it to you for 9 cents per kwh.




Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on November 17, 2018, 12:02:02 am

Costs money.  Pure and simple.


The death toll from just one line failure-spawned fire in California is expected to be more than a thousand, with over ten thousand structures burned.
I wonder what that will cost, by comparison.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on November 18, 2018, 06:32:15 pm
The death toll from just one line failure-spawned fire in California is expected to be more than a thousand, with over ten thousand structures burned.
I wonder what that will cost, by comparison.


Back in the 1800's, one of the railroad presidents said it was cheaper to replace a broken worker than to fix a bad railroad car coupler design.   Maybe got the same thing going here?



And no, I don't really believe that - but it IS true that they don't fix the line loss problem due to cost of wire.  Buried wire will be a LOT more expensive!  They are not gonna love that very much...




Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Cats Cats Cats on November 19, 2018, 12:09:51 pm
The death toll from just one line failure-spawned fire in California is expected to be more than a thousand, with over ten thousand structures burned.
I wonder what that will cost, by comparison.

If they tell them to bury the lines they will do it. It just gets charged to customers. Since its 10x the construction cost it will have to be very selective. Basically, people would like to have the lines buried and they don't want to pay for it.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: swake on November 19, 2018, 12:32:07 pm
Haven't all new neighborhoods been built with underground lines for something like the last 40 years? Other cities bury the distribution lines. Europe does it. Natural Gas is under ground. Water is underground.

It's not as hard or as expensive as electric companies make it out to be, they just haven't been made to do it.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on November 19, 2018, 02:26:51 pm
Haven't all new neighborhoods been built with underground lines for something like the last 40 years? Other cities bury the distribution lines. Europe does it. Natural Gas is under ground. Water is underground.

It's not as hard or as expensive as electric companies make it out to be, they just haven't been made to do it.

But when they are made to do it, it comes across as somewhat spiteful.

Remember "Stop the Box"?
https://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/underground-lines-hit-a-snag/article_e599824c-85ce-5610-994f-4b803898d6d3.html


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Hoss on November 19, 2018, 06:35:16 pm
Haven't all new neighborhoods been built with underground lines for something like the last 40 years? Other cities bury the distribution lines. Europe does it. Natural Gas is under ground. Water is underground.

It's not as hard or as expensive as electric companies make it out to be, they just haven't been made to do it.

I remember there being a big call for it after the 2007 ice storm.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Conan71 on November 19, 2018, 08:16:16 pm
The death toll from just one line failure-spawned fire in California is expected to be more than a thousand, with over ten thousand structures burned.
I wonder what that will cost, by comparison.

If the utility companies don't have to indemnify these losses, what do they care about spending the money to bury power lines?


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: swake on November 19, 2018, 10:33:53 pm
If the utility companies don't have to indemnify these losses, what do they care about spending the money to bury power lines?

If PG&E has to go bankrupt, the calculus over buried lines may change quickly.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on November 19, 2018, 11:00:43 pm
If PG&E has to go bankrupt, the calculus over buried lines may change quickly.

Nationwide push to harden our infrastructure (possibly led by the insurance industry)...  How crazy does that sound?


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Conan71 on November 19, 2018, 11:18:37 pm
If PG&E has to go bankrupt, the calculus over buried lines may change quickly.

The only way they will end up in BK court is if they have to indemnify losses other than their own, which I find highly unlikely. 


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: swake on November 20, 2018, 09:34:48 am
The only way they will end up in BK court is if they have to indemnify losses other than their own, which I find highly unlikely. 

The stock is down almost 50% since the start of the Camp Fire.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/california-wildfires/article/Can-PG-E-survive-the-Camp-Fire-13403707.php


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Cats Cats Cats on November 20, 2018, 11:19:52 am
If the utility companies don't have to indemnify these losses, what do they care about spending the money to bury power lines?

Because somebody has to pay for it and the commissions have to sign off on it. You can't just increase your spending by 10x and everybody is fine with it. Also, with competition for building power lines if it isn't specifically mandated then the buried power lines will always be a WAY worse option.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Oil Capital on November 20, 2018, 01:35:42 pm
Let's be clear... whatever the cost, if power lines are ever buried, the cost will be paid by the users of electricity.

Remember, PSO started a program under which they intended to bury all electric distribution lines in Tulsa. I believe they completed one neighborhood, discovered that it was even more expensive than either they or the regulators had anticipated (and that it was perhaps not as popular as anticipated), and the project was quickly abandoned.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on November 20, 2018, 07:47:31 pm
Let's be clear... whatever the cost, if power lines are ever buried, the cost will be paid by the users of electricity.

Remember, PSO started a program under which they intended to bury all electric distribution lines in Tulsa. I believe they completed one neighborhood, discovered that it was even more expensive than either they or the regulators had anticipated (and that it was perhaps not as popular as anticipated), and the project was quickly abandoned.

AEP applied for and got extra funding from ratepayers for undergrounding and tree management.  They literally put transformers in the middle of some of the nicest yards in Tulsa, prompting neighborhoods to capitulate and call for the end of undergrounding and for the funds to be used to cut trees.

When the Corporation Commission had AEP survey what it would cost to bury all lines, they included the high-voltage transmission towers cris-crossing rural farmland to inflate the cost.  Needless to say, the move to bury electric lines has been disingenuous to say the least.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Conan71 on November 21, 2018, 05:22:09 pm
The stock is down almost 50% since the start of the Camp Fire.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/california-wildfires/article/Can-PG-E-survive-the-Camp-Fire-13403707.php

Enlightening article, thank you for sharing.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on November 25, 2018, 09:51:00 am
If the utility companies don't have to indemnify these losses, what do they care about spending the money to bury power lines?


If they go bankrupt, the 'C' suite group just writes themselves big bonus checks for a job well done and goes on to reorganize.  Paid for by ratepayers, of course...


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: swake on January 14, 2019, 09:51:34 am
If PG&E has to go bankrupt, the calculus over buried lines may change quickly.

PG&E power lines are found to have caused the Camp Fire and the utility declares bankruptcy.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/14/business/pge-bankruptcy-wildfires/index.html



Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on January 14, 2019, 10:52:15 am
PG&E power lines are found to have caused the Camp Fire and the utility declares bankruptcy.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/14/business/pge-bankruptcy-wildfires/index.html




This is really bad for everyone involved.   

The article mentioned one downed power pole riddled with bullets - I have seen power poles in NE OK that were shot so many times I wondered how they could be standing.  Talk about an easy "terrorist" target...



Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on May 26, 2019, 10:20:59 pm
This is really bad for everyone involved.   
The article mentioned one downed power pole riddled with bullets - I have seen power poles in NE OK that were shot so many times I wondered how they could be standing.  Talk about an easy "terrorist" target...



Placing power lines underground is an expensive way to reduce fire danger

Experts have said that despite the heavy costs, burying power lines in areas most susceptible to winds would provide a huge margin of safety.
San Diego has been ahead of the curve, placing thousands of miles of power lines underground over the last few decades. Part of the motivation has been aesthetic, clearing ocean views for residents. But it has also helped reduce fire risk.

In 2016, San Diego Gas & Electric began an ambitious plan to make power lines in the Cleveland National Forest more resistant to fire. That included burying 30 miles of lines underground in sensitive areas.

Its almost 18th century technology, in some ways, then-Malibu Mayor Rick Mullen told state lawmakers last year about overhead lines. Lets make the investment to make the system durable.
I hope this is a wake-up [call] to them and other utilities proving that we need to value infrastructure. I just hope this will result in a cultural change for them.


Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: Red Arrow on May 27, 2019, 01:20:05 pm


Placing power lines underground is an expensive way to reduce fire danger

Experts have said that despite the heavy costs, burying power lines in areas most susceptible to winds would provide a huge margin of safety.
San Diego has been ahead of the curve, placing thousands of miles of power lines underground over the last few decades. Part of the motivation has been aesthetic, clearing ocean views for residents. But it has also helped reduce fire risk.

In 2016, San Diego Gas & Electric began an ambitious plan to make power lines in the Cleveland National Forest more resistant to fire. That included burying 30 miles of lines underground in sensitive areas.

Its almost 18th century technology, in some ways, then-Malibu Mayor Rick Mullen told state lawmakers last year about overhead lines. Lets make the investment to make the system durable.
I hope this is a wake-up [call] to them and other utilities proving that we need to value infrastructure. I just hope this will result in a cultural change for them.


Can high voltage main transmission lines be buried?



Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on May 27, 2019, 06:05:47 pm
Can high voltage main transmission lines be buried?




Yes.  Very pricey.   Just a question of capital expenditure.  Good time to add wire to reduce power losses, too.


The big transmission line in Broken Arrow (looks like about a 161 kv trunk to me, but not completely sure) went down for about 1/2 mile.  Metal and wood poles.  About 500 ft east of friends in Broken Arrow - we were visiting during that storm and it was a wild ride.  The house across the street, and several others around there, from them lost a tree, and power was out for about 8 hours - they were lucky!  That tornado didn't quite make it all the way to the ground, otherwise, there would have been some serious issues.  As it was, lots of houses damaged, but no one seriously hurt!   Could easily have been a Moore type event - the damage path as it happened was hundreds of feet wide through those neighborhoods from Aspen to Elm!



Title: Re: AEP considers burying lines
Post by: patric on June 05, 2019, 09:13:48 am
Can high voltage main transmission lines be buried?

Yes.  After the 07/08 ice storm when AEP was asked what it would cost to bury *ALL* lines, the cost of cross-country transmission lines greatly inflated the price tag (when most people anticipated AEP would only focus on distribution lines and "drops" to the homes).

Most of the failures then were aerial lines among the urban tree canopy, even though many simply failed from the weight of ice on the wire alone without the help of any tree limbs. Nevertheless, tree butchering was touted as the solution.

Its interesting to re-read this discussion from the beginning, when AEP made it look like they were champing at the bit to bury lines but were "surprised" and "discouraged" at "discovering" the cost.