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Undergrounding with Visibility: How to Maximize Your Undergrounding Investment

A T&D World-hosted webinar sponsored by PDi2 and Sentient Energy.

This webinar was originally broadcast on November 9, 2023. 

Now Available On Demand! 

Sponsor: PDi2 and Sentient Energy

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In recent years, the utility industry has seen undergrounding shift from niche applications to a mainstream strategy to improve grid resilience and reduce risk of fire ignition in high wildfire risk zones. However, grid operators and line crews have less remote visibility and continuous monitoring capabilities with undergrounded assets which may prevent a utility from achieving its reliability goals.

During this webinar, Power Delivery Intelligence Initiative (PDi2) and Sentient Energy will discuss the current state of undergrounding, the importance of total life cycle cost, and the value of line sensing for underground circuits.

Key Takeaways:

  • Get updated on the current state of undergrounding in the utility industry.
  • Discover how undergrounding is also an opportunity to modernize circuits.
  • Examine the business case elements for undergrounding including total lifecycle costs.
  • Understand how line sensing reduces outage duration and improves SAIDI.
  • Learn how applying advanced analytics to system data can improve underground distribution management.


Bidesh Kar
Director of Product Management
Sentient Energy

He has 20+ years of experience working in the Utilities industry. He spent the first half of his career in with Infosys Technologies and Itron working on areas such as Demand Response, AMI implementation, Customer Care & Billing transitioning into product management role at S&C Electric Company. Last 5 years Bidesh has led several products from concept to market at Sentient Energy where he is responsible for intelligent line sensors for Underground Distribution and Ample Analytics Platform. Bidesh has worked with utilities across the nation to help them think through how to effectively gain visibility of underground cables and equipment in preparation for the transformation led by DERs, EVs, and rooftop solar. Bidesh also represents Sentient Energy at Power Delivery Intelligence Initiative as a Partner member.

Mike Beehler
National Spokesperson
Power Delivery Intelligence Initiative

Mike Beehler P.E. is the national spokesperson for the Power Delivery Intelligence Initiative and the chief opportunity officer for Mike Beehler & Associates LLC. He started his career designing and building transmission lines and substations for Tucson Electric Power and the Hawaiian Electric Co. and then spent more than 20 years designing T&D infrastructure and consulting on emerging trends at Burns & McDonnell. He has written, presented, and consulted on reliability-centered maintenance, critical infrastructure protection, and program management. In addition, he is a well-known industry writer and speaker on the early definition of the smart grid, 3-D and building information modeling applications in T&D, and development plans for smart cities. Most recently, he is sought for his strategic leadership and vision on the application of emerging technologies in changing business models to include the integration of distributed energy resources, augmented/virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. He authored the book, The Science of the Sale. Beehler is a registered professional engineer in Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Georgia, and Alabama. He also is a Fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers and a member of IEEE and CIGRE.


John Fluharty
Power Delivery Intelligence Initiative

John W Fluharty, II is currently Vice President at Tasmac Solutions Inc., a consulting firm established after Mr. Fluharty's retirement from 28 years of service to Mears Group Inc. Mears Group's services includes corrosion engineering. Mr. Fluharty was an owner of the company until its sale to Quanta Services in 2000 and continued to work as Senior Vice President until August 1, 2008. He has managed every division in the company and has been overseeing business development, asset management, safety and operations for the large pipeline integrity division projects for the last three years. Mears Group is divided into two main divisions: the pipeline integrity group that performs evaluation, design, general consulting, program management and construction services for the pipeline industry in North America. The Horizontal Directional Drilling division that performs design and construction and is considered a top three contractor in size and difficulty of project that specializes in design build projects serving North America. Mr. Fluharty's involvement has been a leadership position in the development of all of these areas. The focus of the last two decades has been the undergrounding of electric transmission lines. Currently Mr. Fluharty is a board member of the Power and Communications Contractor Association (PCCA) and Hall of Fame inductee in 2023, American Pipeline Contractors Association (APCA), President PDI2 and Vice Chairman of the Common Ground Alliance.

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