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Northeastern U.S. Cities Turn to Underground Microgrids for Storm Resilience

The cities of Hoboken, New Jersey and Potsdam, New York are looking to install underground microgrids that cost more to build, but are more resilient in the face of severe storms.

“Microgrids are good, underground microgrids are even better, especially in storm-prone regions,” Microgrid Knowledge reports. “Buried wires are spared the destruction—and outages—brought by wind, snow, and ice, which often topple overhead wires.” And “undergrounding” works around citizen objections to unsightly wires, “especially in scenic areas.”

Hoboken, hard hit by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, is planning to spend $29.9 to $48 million on an underground microgrid to serve up to 55 facilities, Wood writes. The city “hopes to minimize undergrounding costs by coupling some of the work with its road resurfacing program.” The Potsdam microgrid will serve a dozen key organizations, including first responders, utilities, power stations, and staging areas, as well as housing, fuel, and food providers.