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Why Aren't Powergrids Underground? 556

jonging asks: "It is common knowledge that an underground power grid is less susceptible to the effect of a large thunderstorm. The American Transmission Company cites numerous reasons why it (and other power companies I assume) do not bury their transmission lines underground (e.g. environmental concerns, cost of installation and repair, etc.). Exactly how detrimental are underground transmission lines to the environment? Wouldn't the time spent without a power outage generate more than enough revenue to offset initial costs? Aren't the need for repairs in cities with successful underground power grids rare?" The linked article goes into extensive detail about the disadvantages in initial costs of putting in underground lines, but doesn't go into any detail about the maintenance costs of either option. With storms getting worse and worse (Maryland, DC and Northern Virginia have weathered torrential downfalls this week), might underground lines prove more resistant to storm-related power outages?

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