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Increasing and expanding electrification has further stimulated debate on the comparative benefits of overhead (OH) versus underground (UG) power distribution. This analysis investigates the distinction in the potential environmental burdens between the full life cycles of OH and UG primary power distribution systems including their installation, maintenance, and decommissioning. The results will be drawn from a cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment (LCA) of each distribution method in the largest electricity service area in California - Southern California Edison's (SCE).
Date of Conference: 18-20 May 2009