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Mike Beehler's picture
COO, Mike Beehler & Associates, LLC

See for my first book, The Science of the Sale.  MBA, LLC believes that strategically positioning for success and growth in the electric utility industry will require...

  • Member since 2016
  • 135 items added with 61,238 views
  • Jan 26, 2021

Avista is one of the most progressive and innovative IOU’s in North America. Emerging technologies that birth new companies, a smart city pilot at Urbanova in Spokane, and a generation fleet that is 57% renewable.

This proud history will likely help Avista meet the latest challenge featured in the local Spokesman-Review.

Avista customers are calling for more undergrounding of the electric distribution system after the latest wind storm forced 70,000 customers out of service. Customers remember a 1996 ice storm with 100,000 out of service and a 2015 wind storm with 180,000 out of service.

Avista is burying its transmission(sic) lines for new developments and assessing the “undergrounding” of existing lines as part of an effort launched not to combat outages during storms, but to prevent wildfires, wrote Casey Fielder, senior communications manager for Avista Utilities Corp.

Wildfire mitigation is a great reason to underground distribution lines, but perhaps Avista should consider strategic undergrounding, like Dominion did, to improve system resiliency and total time of restoration in the years to come. See an excellent webinar on lessons learned on strategic UG with Dominion at

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 26, 2021

The cost benefit has to be there, but for places with heavy rates of storms that cause outage it seems to make sense. I'm often curious why more of the transmission towers I see around me in Florida haven't been underground years ago given the prevalence of hurricanes

Audra Drazga's picture
Audra Drazga on Jan 27, 2021

Mike - I am wondering as the Grid gets renewed attention under the "Build Back Better" plan if this will be something considered?

Mike Beehler's picture
Thank Mike for the Post!
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