Ameren: Underground power lines not fool-proof, more costly to r - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Ameren: Underground power lines not fool-proof, more costly to repair

This time around, according to Ameren, about 1,000 customers in Cape Girardeau County lost power. This time around, according to Ameren, about 1,000 customers in Cape Girardeau County lost power.
Ameren says whether or not new lines go below depends simply on whether or not it's cost efficient. Ameren says whether or not new lines go below depends simply on whether or not it's cost efficient.
Ameren says they work constantly to keep cost down, and your electric up and running. Ameren says they work constantly to keep cost down, and your electric up and running.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

As sure as the seasons, there's the possibility of a power outage. This time around, according to Ameren, about 1,000 customers in Cape Girardeau County lost power.

"We weathered the storm fairly well and the reason for that is we have an aggressive tree trimming program we are replacing aging poles and aging substation equipment," said Kevin Anders, Senior Director of Technical Services.

But there is a way to prevent outages all together, could all lines go underground? Ameren officials say even when lines are underground, the power can still go out.

"It's harder to identify where the failure is and once you do, it's harder to repair and more expensive than an overhead circuit," Anders said.

Whether or not new lines go below depends simply on whether or not it's cost efficient. Ameren says that's always a priority, and some estimates put the cost of burying existing lines in the billions.

"That's a very expensive proposition and if you think about a functioning circuit that is outaged very seldom, there are just so many ways to organize reliability than under grounding an otherwise reliable circuit," Anders said.

Ameren says they work constantly to keep cost down, and your electric up and running.

"Right it's identifying old poles, hardware and equipment," he said. "That's money better spent than replacing a system that may or may not need replacing."

Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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