: News

Should PEPCO Put Wires Underground?

Play associated audio
Some members of the Montgomery County council have suggested that PEPCO put some of its power lines underground.
http://www.flickr.com/thisisbossi/
Some members of the Montgomery County council have suggested that PEPCO put some of its power lines underground.

By Matt Bush

In Maryland, Bethesda and Potomac were two of the hardest hit areas after last Sunday's storm that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands in Montgomery County.

Bethesda and Potomac have an abundance of trees, especially on private property. Some members of the Montgomery County council have suggested that PEPCO put some wires underground to prevent trees from falling on them.

PEPCO President Thomas Graham says that's not generally feasible. He points to a recent study that showed putting one mile of wire underground would cost PEPCO $6 million.

"We have about 14,000 miles of aerial wire between the primary and secondary in our service territory," says Graham.

But Graham says, putting wires underground in certain spots would make sense.

"It might be selective under-grounding of the primary, not the primary and the secondary. But the primary and that would lower the risk for customers," he says.

But Graham says there is another drawback to putting wires underground. When there is an outage, it would take longer to fix.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Aug. 4, 2015

You can see two exhibits and rub elbows with the artists behind the work.
WAMU 88.5

The Surprising Roots of Barbecue

We speak with culinary historian Michael Twitty about the roots of familiar southern dishes in African and Native American food traditions.

WAMU 88.5

President Obama's Iran Speech

Veteran journalist Marvin Kalb joins us to discuss the parallels between JFK's nuclear disarmament speech fifty years ago and President Obama's speech on the nuclear deal with Iran.

NPR

Sexist Reactions To An Ad Spark #ILookLikeAnEngineer Campaign

After being surprised by online responses to her appearance in a recruiting ad, engineer Isis Wenger wanted to see if anyone else felt like they didn't fit a "cookie-cutter mold."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.