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Monitoring Underground Grid Assets with Wide-Area Networks
Jason Wilson

Even though many grid assets are still above ground today, assets are increasingly moving underground to improve reliability and environmental aesthetics, with some utilities having over 65 percent of their circuit miles below ground. In San Diego Gas and Electric's (SDG&E's) case, 70 percent of their circuit miles are below ground. However, the benefit of undergrounding also comes with challenges, including the fact that manually troubleshooting below ground circuits is extremely costly due to traffic obstructions, confined environments, and dangerous conditions like flooded manholes. As such, utilities not only want, but need, effective monitoring of these underground assets. To date, smart grid communications technologies have not been available to reliably service these assets.

Document Type:
Magazine Articles
Electric Energy T&D Magazine