In the wake of recent power outages after a freak snow storm, Public Service of New Hampshire is defending the quality of its distribution grid. The electric utility says there are no perfect solutions.
Top state and federal officials have called for public hearings on the factors that left hundreds of thousands of customers without power. PSNH President Gary Long says he welcomes those hearings. Long says the power company has invested heavily in its network of poles and wires and the system has never been stronger.
Asked on NHPR’s The Exchange if underground lines would be better, Long said underground lines can fail too and when they do, repairs are costly.
“Even locating the fault is difficult and if you can imagine in the middle of winter with frozen ground, how you would go about fixing that, and how long people might be while you try to do that.”
Long said short of a very expensive project to bury most power lines, neighborhoods would still be vulnerable during extreme storms – storms that have become more common.