Many countries have long had the desire to move their overhead power lines to the underground due to increasing pressure from environmentalists, increasing pressure from city planners, losses from frequent outage, loss from bad weather, high cost of maintenance, high transmission loss, electrocution, bushfire risks, high greenhouse emission, auto accidents, cost of tree pruning, better aesthetics, and better real estate value. Cost and the underground already being so crowded with water pipes, sewers, storm drains, gas mains, telephone cables, and other conduits have prevented the power companies from realizing this goal. While the power industry has felt this way, the communications industry is fighting for its survival. It appears these two industries could work together for both of them to gain. Deployment of optical fiber networks or power distribution networks underground in dedicated conduits requires extensive construction, usually involving excavation of city streets. It makes all the sense in the world to locate the power distribution cables and the fiber cables in the existing rights of way on sewers, water mains, gas pipes, tunnels, and other underground structures to move them underground quicker and at a cheaper cost. This paper provides an account of how to go about deploying power and fiber cables either inside or outside of existing utility pipes using trenchless technologies. Tokyo, Taipei, Berlin, Hamburg, Paris, Toronto, Vienna, Boston, New York, Albuquerque, and Indianapolis, are among the growing list of progressive cities where such creative business partnerships have produced unprecedented financial results to all parties concerned. An overview of details of such creative business partnerships where the same existing conduits were used toward win-win situations for all parties involved around the world will be presented along with the results of a global survey of underground power distribution practices. Standardization efforts and workable solutions to technical problems also are given.
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DOIS: 10.1061/40800(180)3 10.1049/cp:20051321