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In recent years there have been large, multi-state electrical outages which have underscored the need to update and improve the reliability of our nationwide electrical grid. With the growth of renewable energy and decentralized electricity generation, power transmission and distribution requirements are changing throughout the country. An increasing number of high and extra-high voltage power cables are being routed underground as part of an effort to replace aging overhead cables and upgrade electrical transmission systems. In addition to good neighbor benefits, undergrounding power cables streamlines permits, provides added security and helps protect lines from outages due to severe weather events.
Plastic conduit and casings are routinely required to bury power cables. PVC conduit is the predominant material used for underground cable installation. While most installation is performed by direct bury, river crossings, highway crossings, and other obstacles typically require trenchless installation methods. Introduced over a decade ago, Fusible PVC® casings and conduits are known and proven products that can withstand the rigors of trenchless installation to provide a safe, robust, and long lasting conduit for installed power cables.
Ben Beagle, Tideland EMC's Manager of Operations in Bellhaven, NC, summarized a recent 3,800 LF directional drill project involving a 25kV 4-inch conduit bundle as follows: "Tideland EMC had a very specific requirement for conduit sizing and length to cross under Pantego Creek. Lee Electrical Construction brought Underground Solutions into the project and the two of them, along with Tideland's construction team, were able to take the project from concept to successful completion in a year's time. We commend all the parties for their efforts and recommend other utilities consider this approach for similar projects."