Most cities around the world have great urban landscapes only to be ruined by electric cables between poles. For some it’s already a universally accepted sight in the streets, but several cities opt to go for underground cabling, or undergrounding, to save the view from the messy electric lines problem.
Not only that underground cables (UGCs) offer a clean cityscape, they also have other unique advantages over the overhead lines.
They have lower transmission losses, lower maintenance costs and less susceptible to impacts of severe weather. UGCs don’t post hazard to low flying aircraft to wildlife too; as well as less subjected to conductor theft, illegal connections, sabotage, and damage from armed conflict.
Moreover, it can absorb emergency power loads; can be engineered to emit a lower magnetic field than an overhead line; doesn’t emit electric field; and only requires a narrower band of land to install.
Source: TC Electric
The use of UGCs needs to be regulated especially in densely populated areas, projects with waterways and other natural obstacles, land with outstanding natural or environmental heritage or vulnerable eco-systems, culturally important sites and buildings, and areas of significant or prestigious infrastructure development. Transmission line projects require extensive analysis of which type of cables is suited for the area.
Although relatively more expensive than overhead lines to manufacture, the undergrounds cables varies in cost depending upon the construction and the voltage rating, which are its two classifications.