Executive Summary: Electric Pipelines for North American Power Grid Efficiency & Security By Ro er !

" #aul$ner% &opyri ht '(() *ne thin holdin +ac$ development of wind and solar ener y in America is the lac$ of capa+ility to send electric power around the country" ,he +est wind and solar sites are often far from ma-or electrical ener y mar$ets" Althou h the present power rid allows electric utilities to send power hundreds of miles% it is not capa+le of transportin power efficiently from coast to coast" *verhead power lines are simply not a+le to transmit si nificant electric power coast.to. coast in the /SA" /nder round power lines 01electric pipelines23 would however +e capa+le of transportin power all around the /SA" A rid +ased on these electric pipelines would improve the security and sta+ility of our electric power system 0a ainst +oth accidents and terrorism3% and would facilitate wind and solar power +ecomin a much lar er part of our ener y mix" ,he present electric power rid is vulnera+le to +ein crashed +y very low tech methods" *ur rid can +e +rou ht down +y the simultaneous failure of two ma-or power lines durin a period of hi h power demand% as occurred in +oth the 4567 and '((8 East &oast re ional +lac$outs 0sa+ota e was not involved in either of these events3" 9t would +e simple for sa+oteurs to duplicate the events that caused the Au ust 47% '((8 +lac$out iven our present electric rid desi n" A networ$ of electric pipelines would ma$e our power system far more resistant to +ein +rou ht down +y sa+ota e% and the electric pipelines themselves could +e far more resistant to sa+ota e than overhead power lines" ,he de ree to which distant re ions can share power has a direct effect on the need for new power plant construction" Electric pipelines% +y increasin the distance over which power can +e shared in North America% would reduce the need for new power plant construction dramatically% savin more than :4(( +illion in new power plant construction costs 0enou h to pay for the electric pipeline rid3" A networ$ of under round electric pipelines would have far fewer aesthetic effects than the massive overhead power lines that have +ecome all too familiar throu hout the developed world" At the same time% under round electric pipelines would produce far less E;# 0electroma netic field3 effects than overhead power lines 0some epidemiolo ic studies have su ested that E;# from overhead power lines increases the ris$ of certain cancers for people livin near the power lines3" *ne particularly relevant effect of a North American rid +ased on hi h.capacity electric pipelines would +e to ma$e it practical to send solar. enerated electricity from the American Southwest to East &oast cities for pea$ power" 0,he ener y demand for air conditionin on the East &oast correlates very well with the availa+le power from solar electric enerators in the American Southwest"3 ,his would have very positive effects on reducin pollution and reenhouse as emissions< this is -ust one of several such positive environmental effects"

“Electric pipelines” as an innovative technology for electrical grid security, development of renewable energy sources, and energy conservation *ur present electrical rid is vulnera+le to +ein +rou ht down +y very low tech methods that could easily +e used +y terrorists" ,he fact that this has not yet happened should not +e very reassurin to anyone% since the Au ust 47% '((8 East &oast +lac$out showed that simultaneous failure of a few power lines can cause a ripple effect that can crash the rid over a wide area 0not the whole country% +ut an entire 1synchronous re ion2 can +e crashed +y only a few simultaneous outa es of ma-or power lines durin a period of hi h power demand3" 9n the '((8 outa e% a chain reaction +e an with two ma-or power lines in *hio that shorted out due to ve etation contactin the wires 0the wires had sa ed +ecause they were carryin very hi h current% due to hi h demand3< within minutes the disruption caused '4 power plants to shut down% leavin millions of people without power" ,his vulnera+ility has lon +een $nown to electrical system experts% and it may +e only a matter of time until it is exploited +y terrorists" Perhaps the +est way to improve resistance of our power rid to interruption +y terrorist acts would +e to put ma-or power lines under round" ,hese under round power lines 01electric pipelines23 could have lower electrical resistance than present overhead power lines% and could operate at hi her volta e% resultin in more efficient transportation of electrical ener y" A networ$ of electric pipelines is the +est way 09 would ar ue the *N=> way3 to implement a continental.scale power rid" A North American rid that would +e capa+le of movin hundreds or thousands of i awatts of power coast.to.coast would produce complex economic and political effects which would affect eneration methods and efficiency" A North American rid would encoura e solar% wind% +iomass% eothermal% and hydroelectric power development +y reatly improvin mar$et access for power enerated in remote areas" ,o ta$e the specific example of wind power% a North American rid would ma$e wind power more relia+le% since +y tyin to ether numerous different wind 1hot spots%2 the pro+a+ility of low availa+le wind power due to weather conditions +ecomes much less li$ely" Such a rid would also reduce opposition to nuclear reactors +y allowin them to +e sited far from population centers" ,hese effects would reduce reenhouse as emissions su+stantially" A stron ly interconnected North American electricity rid would tend to decrease pollution% insofar as the least efficient 0and therefore most pollutin 3 enerators would tend to +e shut down 0completely or in part3 +y competition with more efficient enerators" ,he $ey missin element at present that prevents the development of continental scale 0and eventually lo+al3 stron ly connected power rids is a practical means to efficiently transport tens to thousands of i awatts of electric power coast.to.coast% with accepta+le costs and environmental impacts" 9f it were possi+le to +rin solar power from Ari?ona% New ;exico and ,exas to East &oast cities% solar power would +e cost competitive with daytime pea$ power enerated +y as tur+ines today" Solar power installations in the /S southwest cannot presently send power east% which

effectively rules out ma-or 0strictly economically.driven3 development of solar power< iven present economics and solar technolo y% solar ener y facilities would +e +uilt in the /S southwest with private capital if the power could +e sent east to +e sold as @pea$ power"@ !e have nearly reached the theoretical limit of the conventional% overhead transmission line% and it is o+vious that such lines will never +e capa+le of lin$in the coasts of North America% let alone the Earth as a whole" #urthermore% overhead power lines are very vulnera+le to terrorist attac$s" ,he technolo y of electric power transmission is due for an overhaul" *verhead transmission lines row more controversial each year% while at the same time% the economic incentive to transport +ul$ power rows each year" Because of the stron economic incentive to transport western /S electricity east 0and similar incentives around the world3% new technolo y is +ound to arise that will ma$e it possi+le to transport +ul$ electric power on a continental and eventually even on a lo+al scale" ,he political Auestion is% should this technical evolution +e promoted and accelerated as a matter of policyB !ould improved capa+ility to transport electrical ener y produce si nificant +enefits for the /S and world economies in the next several decadesB 9 +elieve the answer to these Auestions is yes" Any technolo y to transport massive amounts of electricity coast.to.coast must +e relia+le% rapidly repaira+le% and redundant in order to uarantee continued supply in the face of possi+le accidents% eolo ical or weather events% or terrorism" Redundant implies at least two independent power lines must connect the East &oast to the !est &oast" #i ure 4 shows one particular layout of a North American rid that meets the need for redundancy via a loop desi n" ,he desi n of #i ure 4 is sin ly redundant from the East &oast to the !est &oast% and has additional redundancy around the Great =a$es and eastern /S" 9n order to reach all the ma-or cities in North America% smaller connectors +etween the ma-or loop and cities that are off the loop would +e reAuired" ,he rid layout shown in #i ure 4 would +e a desira+le implementation for any rid to move power around North America throu h wires re ardless of desi n details% such as superconductor. versus conventional conductor.+ased electric pipeline desi ns" Even overhead power lines% if they +ecame feasi+le for interconnectin the coasts due to a future technolo ical +rea$throu h% would also pro+a+ly follow a rid layout li$e that of #i ure 4" CCC#i ure 4: ;ap of N" America% showin a ma-or loop that runs down each coast% connectin in the North from Seattle to New >or$ throu h &hica o% Detroit% and &leveland% with spurs tyin in ma-or cities and hydro power sources that are off the main loop% such as Eancouver% =as Ee as% Denver% Boston% ;ontreal% the &anadian Roc$ies% and Fue+ec hydro power" A loop oes north of the Great =a$es throu h !innipe % *ttawa% and ,oronto% so that the service is dou+ly redundant in this re ion" ,he main loop oes south alon the East &oast% passin near Atlanta% New *rleans% Gouston% Dallas% Phoenix% and San Die o" A ;exicanHSouth American spur oes south to ;exico &ity" ,he line is sin ly redundant for the entire loop% and dou+ly redundant in

some areas" A connector runs from &hica o to New *rleans throu h Saint =ouis% and Nashville"""s$etch in additional connectors as needed to service most cities"

AC vs. DC & Overhead vs. Underground Power Lines Ever since the earliest examples of lon distance electric power transmission% overhead transmission lines have +een the preferred method for transportin lar e amounts of electric power" As the len th of any conventional transmission line increases% +oth the ener y transfer capacity of the line and the efficiency of ener y transfer decrease" ,he main ways to fi ht this are to increase the transmission line volta e% andHor to increase wire diameter" /p until a+out 45)5% only A& power could +e readily chan ed from one volta e to another 0via transformers% which only wor$ for A& power3" Now however% A&HD& converters that are compara+le in efficiecy 0I5JK3 to transformers are readily availa+le" ,oday% all the hi hest capacity lon est. distance power transmission lines in the world are overhead hi h volta e D& lines 0GED&3" ,here are different trade.offs for A& versus D& power transmission" #or example% volta e can only +e ta$en up to a+out )((%((( volts 0)(( $E3 for an overhead A& power line +ecause +eyond that% power dissipation throu h dielectric loss +ecomes severe" Eolta e for D& overhead power lines can +e ta$en up to dou+le the maximum A& volta e% to a+out 4((( $E 0one million volts from round potential< ' million volts +etween the conductors3< +eyond that% power dissipation throu h corona dischar e +ecomes severe" /nder round D& power lines can use even hi her volta e% and can +e Auite lar e< the main factors limitin si?e and desi n details are the need to insulate the conductor and to dissipate heat" !ire diameter is limited for A& transmission lines% whether overhead or +uried% due to the 1s$in effect2 that prevents an A& current from penetratin to the center of a lar e wire% whereas a D& line can +e ar+itrarily thic$" #or these and other reasons% under round hi h capacity power lines are necessarily D&" ,he simplest way electric power could +e sent coast to coast is to +uild power lines +ased on conductors with much lower electrical resistance than any lon distance power lines in service today" ,hese 1electric pipelines2 can +e either conventional conductor or superconductor.+ased% in principle" ,he superconductor approach to electric pipelines has otten some press and research interest% +ut is not technically ready to deploy yet" ,here is also a more pedestrian way to decrease the electrical resistance of a power transmission line: use more conductor" A long range transmission project today typically will use around 1 to 3 cubic meters of aluminum per kilometer in the transmission wires themselves. The largest elevated transmission project to date is a huge Brazilian transmission line from the foothills of the Andes to Rio De Janeiro, which uses about 7 cubic meters of aluminum per kilometer. This DC power line makes it possible to deliver about 7,240 megawatts (7.24 gigawatts) of power after transmission 3,000 kilometers at 10% line loss. The towers are huge, and occupy a substantial right-of-way which

cannot practically be used for anything else. This power line does not have nearly enough transmission capacity to link the major eastern and western US power grids. In fact, it would require ~200 gigawatts of transfer capacity to meaningfully interconnect the two coasts of the US. To accomplish the interconnection with overhead power lines similar to the Amazonian transmission project would require at least 27 separate coast to coast lines. Such a project, even if it was economically feasible, is not politically feasible in the US because of the environmental and aesthetic impacts. On the other hand, an underground power line could link the Eastern and western US with a similar environmental impact to a gas pipeline. ,he aluminum acAuisition costs per se amount to less than 4(K of the total cost for most lon distance power transmission pro-ects" /sin a lot more aluminum 0').)(( cu+ic meters of aluminumH$ilometer3 ma$es sense economically if ener y savin s and transfer capacity increases can finance the acAuisition and installation of the extra aluminum" 0,here are plans to +uild a trillion dollars worth of new electric eneratin capacity in North America in the next twenty years< since lon .ran e transmission capacity reduces demand% it is worth considerin a continental power rid% +ased on purely capital cost savin s" ,he further security% relia+ility% and renewa+le ener y impacts ma$es such a pro-ect even more compellin "3 9nclusion of GED& interconnects +etween portions of an A& rid ma$es the A& rid more resistant to the upsets that occur when a power line is suddenly removed from service" Sudden removal of a power line in an interconnected A& rid causes the phase of power arrivin +y two different routes to a sin le point to +ecome asynchronous< if asynchronicity is +ad enou h% the initial upset can cause circuit +rea$ers to +low at remote sites which share several interconnections to the power line which was removed from service" ,his can sometimes +rin down the whole rid in a much lar er area than that directly served +y the power line that crashed 0this happened in +oth the 4567 and '((8 East &oast +lac$outs3" /nli$e GEA& interconnections% GED& interconnections are asynchronous% and tend to sta+ili?e a primarily A& rid when a power line is suddenly removed from service% as +y an accidental short or a +ro$en line" ,hus% connectin the existin A& rid to a D& rid will improve sta+ility of the A& rid" GED& rids can +e controlled either under ampera e control or volta e control" At present% all ma-or GED& power lines operate under ampera e control% which reAuires a nearly instantaneous synchroni?ation of power in-ection and power removal +etween all the A&HD& converters connected to the rid" ,his +ecomes an unmana ea+le control pro+lem a+ove a+out ) A&HD& converters connected to a sin le line" 9n order to +uild the sort of continental GED& ener y rid that would +e reAuired to share power across North America% it will +e essential to operate the rid under volta e control 0similar to the way a computer power supply wor$s3" Ener y stora e devices connected to the rid are an essential feature of such a control scheme" ,hese stora e devices either in-ect or remove power nearly instantaneously to maintain sta+le operatin conditions 0local volta e3 for the rid" A +yproduct of such a control scheme is added relia+ility

due to the presence of the stora e capacity" ,here is a need for further research in this area +efore an GED& rid can +e +uilt% +ut this is a solu+le pro+lem" A feature shared +y all electric pipeline desi ns is that to insure relia+ility% it must +e possi+le to ain rapid access to the line anywhere alon its course to perform repairs 0for example% to repair a coolant lea$ or to replace a shorted out section of the line3" ,his essentially reAuires that the electric pipeline 0whether it is +ased on conventional conductors or superconductors3 +e installed in a service corridor% rather than +ein directly +uried% so that it can +e rapidly repaired" Such a hi h capacity% cross continental 0or even lo+al3 power lin$ would +ecome so important economically that it would +e intolera+le to have the lin$ out of service for a sustained time for repairs" ,he service corridor per se is a ma-or portion of the total pro-ected cost of a lon distance hi h capacity power line 0electric pipeline3 pro-ect" Electric pipelines are far more compati+le with multiple uses of the transmission corridor than are overhead transmission lines" ,he service corridor could in principle +e +eneath a road< however% the possi+ility of attac$ +y a truc$ +om+ may mean that it would not +e desira+le to allow heavy traffic to use the corridor of an electric pipeline" Route plannin for electric pipelines could allow for simultaneous uses for the ri ht of way that would not +e practical or desira+le for overhead transmission lines% such as +i$e trails or future hi h speed rail lines" ,he reatly reduced E;# from under round D& power lines also implies that electronic telecommunications wires and occupied +uildin s can +e in close proximity to the transmission line without electroma netic interference or health concerns +ased on alternatin ma netic fields" #i ures ' and 8 illustrate the ma-or trade.offs in re ard to lar e GED& pro-ects" ,he lines in #i ure ' show the transfer capacities of various feasi+le power lines" ,he six lines represent different desi n volta es% from one to six million volts" ,he hori?ontal axis represents the actual amount of aluminum in the pipeline 0includin +oth the positive & ne ative conductors3% expressed as cu+ic meters of aluminumH$ilometer" ,he vertical axis represents transfer capacity in i awatts< in this case the amount of power that can +e transmitted )((( $ilometers with 4(K line loss" 0A lar e central station nuclear or coal.+urnin power plant typically produces a+out one i awatt of power per unit"3 9t is interestin to note that much less aluminum is reAuired to transmit a iven amount of power as increasin volta e is used" Notes: ,hese assumptions apply to #i ures ' and 8% and ,a+le 4: 4" Assumes pure aluminum conductors are at 4((o &elsius 0temperature affects aluminum conductivity sli htly3< a conservative assumption% since under normal operatin conditions% the aluminum will +e cooler" '" Based on 5(K transfer efficiency 04(K line loss3< line loss is less at lower transfer rates"

"i#$re %: &apacit! of '(D& )o*erli es +for 5000 ,m li e$000

5000 ,m capacit! +GW-

3#00 3000 "#00 "000 1#00 1000 #00 0 0 100 "00 300 $00 #00 &$bic .eters /l$mi $m0,m 1 " 3 $ # 6 million volts million volts million volts million volts million volts million volts

Table 1 and Figure 3 show estimated cost of aluminum, insulator (mineral oil), and the sum of both versus voltage required for the simplest possible design as a function of design voltage. This is a major portion of the project cost, but by no means a realistic cost estimate, since fabrication and construction costs, the cost of the corridor, and the cost of the numerous AC/DC converters has been neglected (Table 2 attempts to add in estimates for these other costs).

Table 1: Sizes of Elpipes to Deliver 180 GW 5000 Kilometers, 90% Efficie c! total Aluminum insulator conductor insulator $/km $/km total cost megavolts m**3/km m**3/km diam., cm diam., cm aluminum insulator (Al + oil)/km 1 1060.0 9 . !".1# 1.!# $3,1$!,"00 $1"9,013 $3," ,"13 " "6#.0 10$." $1.0 3. 0 $ ! ,0#0 $13 ,#$6 $9"$,#96 3 11 .! 11#.0 " .3! #.#6 $3$9,!00 $1#1, 6 $#01,#6 $ 66.3 130.1 "0.#$ .$1 $196, 63 $1 1,6 $36!,$39 # $".$ 1$9.# 16.$3 9."6 $1"#,9"! $19 ," # $3"3,"03 6 "9.$ 1 3." 13.69 11.11 $! ,$#0 $""!,#6" $316,01" "1.6 "01." 11. $ 1".96 $6$,"$9 $"6#,#3 $3"9, !6 ! 16.6 "33.# 10." 1$.!1 $$9,191 $30!,"00 $3# ,391 9 13.1 " 0.1 9.13 16.6 $3!,!6 $3#6,##" $39#,$19 • ,otal volts means the volta e difference +etween the wires< this is twice the value that is usually cited 0usually% volta e to round is used to rate D& power lines3"

"i#$re 1: Elpipe Tra smissio 2i e .aterial &ost vs3 (olta#e
$3,#00,000 $3,000,000 $",#00,000 $",000,000 $1,#00,000 $1,000,000 $#00,000 $0 0 " $ 6 ! 10 $/kilometer aluminum $/kilometer insulator total cost Al + oil

Basis: Same assumptions as Figure 2 plus: 1. Aluminum costs $1.088/kg; electrical-grade mineral oil costs $1.50/kg. 2. 5000 kilometer power line, transmitting 180 gigawatts with 10% transmission loss. 3. White mineral oil was selected for the fluid insulator based on its good dielectric strength and low cost. This type of oil is non-toxic and thermally stable for long-term use at 100o C under anaerobic conditions. A relatively conservative value of insulator strength (27,000 volts/mm) was used to calculate thickness of the insulator layer. 4. Small correction for curvature of the conductor was neglected. 5. Density of aluminum = 2.73 g/cc; mineral oil = .88 g/cc. #i ure 8 shows how conductor% insulator% and the total contri+ution of these two important costs to total line cost 0ne lectin the outer casin % corridor% and installation cost3 chan e with volta e for GED& electric pipelines" As volta e increases% the amount of aluminum needed to transfer a iven amount of power oes down% while the thic$ness of insulation reAuired on the conductors oes up" #rom low volta e up to a+out 8 million volts +etween the conductors% the cost efficiency of the power transmission improves rapidly with increasin volta e% +ecause of the rapid decrease of the amount of aluminum reAuired" #rom 7.5 million volts% the total cost for conductor L insulator are nearly constant% and the insulator costs more than the conductor" ,he least expensive transmission line 0 iven the particular assumptions iven a+ove3 occurs around 6

million volts line.to.line 08 million volts from round3" *ther factors% especially the cost of the converter stations% imply that an operatin volta e around 7 million volts 0' million volts from round3 would pro+a+ly +e preferred for a North American GED& power rid +ased on mineral oil.insulated% aluminum conductor electricity pipelines" /nli$e superconductor.+ased options% the proposed electric pipelines are +ased on en ineerin principles and fa+rication techniAues that are well understood" ,hou h construction of an electric pipeline networ$ would indeed +e a ma-or underta$in % the pro-ect is doa+le without developin fundamentally new technolo y" Such a pro-ect could o+viate the need for numerous new power plants% +y allowin more efficient sharin of present resources" And% as mentioned earlier% such a rid would ma$e certain environmentally desira+le electricity eneration methods much more feasi+le" As such% it would represent a lar e step towards reducin emissions from power plants" At the same time% the proposed GED& rid +ased on electricity pipelines would improve +oth relia+ility and resistance of the electric power rid to terrorist threats" ,a+le ' ives cost estimates for several different electric pipeline pro-ects" Pro-ect 4 is a minimal sort of GED& pro-ect for which conventional% direct.+uried% polyolefin.insulated wires are used 0several such pro-ects are in operation around the world at present3" Pro-ect ' corresponds approximately to the Ama?onian power line in Bra?il that was previously discussed 0the lar est overhead power line ever constructed3" Pro-ect 8 is a direct +uried line that uses the same amount of aluminumH$ilometer as the Ama?onian power line 0Pro-ect '3" Pro-ect 7 is a small electric pipeline% and Pro-ect ) is a realistic scale electric pipeline desi ned to interconnect North America in a sin le redundant GED& power rid" &learly% there are a lot of approximations involved here% +ut the fi ure of :)( +illion for a North American GED& rid is +elieved to +e 1in the +allpar$2 for total pro-ect cost% excludin the cost of acAuirin the land for the power line"

TABLE 2 Aluminum.Based ,ransmission Pro-ects
!ro"ect number !ro"ect name # 'irect buried wires, insulated with !E
4%((( $m )"6 4 million volts 46 ohms 6%''' amps (")6 ( M"(( ''"M 2234533 ( :47%((( :)(%((( :47)%((( 22$#4,333 :'84 million :)6( million 278# million 5"(K

2 (verhead Line li)e Ama*onian pro"ect
8%((( $m M"' ' million volts 75"M ohms 7%('7 amps "(M' I(")K M"(( ( 223,533 ( :'4%'(( :J7%((( :)7%((( 2#53,333 :'M( million :M'7 million 2889 million 44")K

$ Electric pipeline, directly buried
8%((( $m M") ' million volts 7J ohms 7%46M amps "(M7 ( M"(( 64"4 223,533 :46%4(( :'4%4(( :4((%((( :4)(%((( 2$35,333 :6(( million :M)( million 2#4$& billion M"4K

% Electric pipeline, +mini, corridor)%((( $m 4J ' million volts '( ohms 4(%((( amps "7( ( 'J 5("J 25$,233 :'7%((( :4(%J(( :4'(%((( :46)%((( 2%3$,333 :4"J +illion :4"J +illion 2$49 billion '4K

& Electric pipeline, +in corridor4)%((( $m 'JJ 7 million volts ) ohms J(%((( amps 4"5' ( J7 88' 22&3,333 :JM%M(( :'(%((( :4)(%((( :66(%((( 2#4#7 million :46"5 +illion :'J"J +illion 2%&47 billion '4K

pro-ect len th capacity% i awatts desi n volta e electrical resistance full capacity amperes max" heat output 0$!Hm3 corona dissipation 0E;#3 cu+ic meters alum"H$m cu+ic meters oilH$m !.(/E0T 0(1T1 aluminum# per )m mineral oil' per $m other materials per $m fa+rication per $m installation per $m installed conductor6)m total conductor cost converter stations !.(/E0TE' 0(1T aluminum as a percent of pro-ect cost 0excludin land3

#**,N*,ES: 043 &ost of aluminum is assumed to +e :'5M(Hcu+ic meter 0'3 &ost of mineral oil assumed to +e :'67Hcu+ic meter

,he electric pipeline installation method must allow for rapid repair in case of a fault condition% and must also provide a +ac$up circuit to handle the load durin repair of a particular circuit" ,he +ac$up circuit can +e parallel% +ut prefera+ly would follow a

completely separate path" Direct +urial may +e ruled out if one demands that the circuit +e hi hly relia+le% +ecause of the impossi+ility of ma$in rapid repairs on a +uried line" Several installation options are possi+le for electric pipelines" *verhead% +uried% and placin the line in an accessi+le 0pro+a+ly mostly under round3 service corridor are reco ni?ed options" Elevatin the electric pipeline 0the pro-ect would loo$ more li$e elevated train trac$s than a conventional power line3 has advanta es in terms of accessi+ility for maintenance and repair compared to +uryin the line" An elevated line would% however% have the reatest aesthetic impact and would also +e at reater ris$ of accidental or malicious dama e" An elevated line would also experience reater temperature variations% which would cause desi n complications" Buried lines have well $nown pro+lems with maintaina+ility% relia+ility% and time reAuired to repair a fault condition" Also% +uried lines experience surface shear loads due to thermal expansion and contraction that could lead to fati ue pro+lems" 0Buried ri id lines would reAuire close.spaced expansion -oints to overcome this difficulty3" #inally% +uried lines are su+-ect to surface corrosion and dama e durin installation that may o undetected and cause pro+lems later" ,he preferred installation method for electric pipelines is to mount the electric pipelines in an accessi+le 0prefera+ly climate.controlled to minimi?e stresses due to thermal expansion and contraction3% partially under round service corridor" ,he roof of the service corridor should ideally +e rapidly remova+le to allow for access +y cranes to the pipeline itself for repairs% if this should +e reAuired" 0A fully +uried corridor is less desira+le +ecause cranes could not +e effectively used in construction and repair of the electric pipeline"3 9f two circuits 0i"e"% 7 electric pipelines3 share the same corridor% then it would +e essential to uarantee that no feasi+le accident could simultaneously $noc$ +oth electric circuits out of service simultaneously" 0*ne implication of this is that parallel lines would have to +e split so as to cross navi a+le rivers at different points% +ecause of the possi+ility of dama e to the +rid e structure +y a +ar e% for example"3 ,he desi n reAuirements outlined a+ove for the electric pipeline service corridor are hi hly compati+le with dual use of the corridor roof as a +i$e trail" Bi$es% unli$e truc$s or trains% are incapa+le of experiencin violent accidents that could dama e the corridor or the pipeline" ;ost routine maintenance and inspections would occur inside the corridor% with the roof on" ,he waste heat escapin from the electric pipelines in such a corridor is si nificant% and would have to +e removed to allow the temperature inside the corridor to +e controlled" ,his could +e accomplished +y mostly passive means" Such a low aesthetic impact% environmentally +eni n installation method for an electric pipeline pro-ect increases the possi+ility of ainin the support of environmentalists and

outdoor enthusiasts for the concept of electric pipelines" At the same time% the very low electrical resistance and hi h relia+ility of the pair of electric pipelines% and the maintaina+ility due to placin the pipeline in an accessi+le service corridor% are advanta eous from the utilitiesN point of view 0and from the point of view of national ener y policy3" ,he service corridor itself would +e a ma-or cost in the proposed pro-ect< net cost over direct +urial of the line is estimated to +e a+out :))(%(((H$ilometer% or a+out :'"M) +illion for a coast.to.coast power line 0this portion of costs is not very sensitive to the si?e of the electric pipeline at all in the si?e ran e we are considerin here3" ,o put this in perspective% this amounts to a+out the cost of two modern 4 i awatt power plants whereas the coast.to.coast electric pipeline could carry more than 4(( times this amount of power" 0Such a coast to coast lin$ would delay the need for at least 5( i awatts of new power plant capacity +y allowin sharin of existin capacity% savin I:48( +illion"3 A service corridor has the advanta e of a very lon useful life compared to most other utility investments% such as power plants" Such a corridor would remain a valua+le resource lon after the electric pipeline per se is o+solete" ,he existence of such a service corridor would su+stantially reduce the future cost of creatin parallel lines of all $inds% includin telecommunications and superconductive rid lines" ,he concept of +uildin an GED& rid +ased on electric pipelines is one of those 1out of the +ox2 ideas that people often say are desira+le% yet are eAually li$ely to attac$ as impractical without actual examination" 9t is a visionary concept that pulls to ether several different 0and in some cases contradictory3 oals< for example% the proposed rid would +e ood for +oth renewa+le ener y and nuclear ener y pro-ects" 9t ets ri ht to the core of a common misconception of most environmentalists% who for the most part advocate ettin 1off the rid2 as a desira+le oal of ener y policy" 9t is my +elief that a ro+ust and capa+le electric rid is an essential ena+lin technolo y that will allow wind and solar power to vastly increase their share of the total /S ener y pie" And% 9 have +een una+le to visuali?e any alternative to placin ma-or transmission lines under round if the oal is to ma$e our electric rid hi hly resistant to terrorist attac$"

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