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Undergrounding Plan

Distribution Facilities Undergrounding Plan 2024 - 2028 Project Identification

On March 1, 2005, the Anchorage Assembly adopted certain revisions to Section 21.07.050, Utility Distribution Facilities, of the Anchorage Municipal Code. These revisions require an electric utility to “include as part of its annual capital improvement plan, a five-year undergrounding program” (21.07.050F1). In each of the years of this program the electric utility shall plan on expending “at least two percent of a three-year average of its annual gross retail revenues derived from utility service connections within the municipality” (21.07.050G1a). In accordance with this requirement, Chugach Electric Association (Chugach) targets approximately $6.6 million annually to underground existing overhead facilities. Over-expenditures or under expenditures may be carried over as an adjustment to the following year’s obligation.

When developing the five-year undergrounding program, the electric utility can choose which existing lines to underground. Specifically, priorities of the program “shall be based on undergrounding in conjunction with the electric utility’s essential system improvements and then by target area” (21.07.050F1).

This document contains Chugach’s anticipated five-year undergrounding plan, comprising 26 projects with a total estimated capital cost of $44,580,000 to be expended on undergrounding of non-conforming overhead lines between 2024 to 2028. The inclusion of a project within this plan does not guarantee that the project will be constructed in the designated year. Every effort is made to complete the projects according to the schedule in Part IV, but circumstances may cause a project to be completed earlier or later than planned.

The projects were chosen to best serve Chugach's overall system needs and with consideration of the designated target areas.


Project Selection

Chugach's undergrounding projects are intended to implement one or a combination of five (5) main objectives. These objectives are listed in order of priority; however, the priority of a project can change depending on the specific project and how it relates to maintaining the integrity of the Chugach system.


These projects will improve the safety of our system by retiring overhead facilities as they are identified where clearances or strength requirements are less than mandated by the National Electric Safety Code (NESC). Lines over residential houses or buildings, although not necessarily a code violation, pose a potential safety concern and will attempt to be relocated underground as part of this plan.

Non-reimbursable Portions of Relocation Projects

State and Municipal road projects often include the relocation of existing utility facilities at the expense of the road project. Under this category, Chugach will fund any betterment undertaken by the utility embedded within the relocation work or add small system improvements that may lie just outside of the scope of the road project but that are ideal to construct at the same time.

Load Growth Improvement

Existing overhead facilities are sometimes insufficient to handle the additional load of a large commercial or residential development. Instead of reconductoring an existing pole line with larger conductor, these projects will install larger underground conductor and retire the overhead facilities.


Chugach realizes the need for reliable electrical service and on an ongoing basis analyzes the system to ensure this reliability remains at an acceptable standard. These projects include loop closures to provide an alternate feed for radial underground circuits. Some areas have higher numbers of wind related or tree related outages. These areas may benefit by retiring overhead systems and replacing them with underground facilities.

Target Areas

Existing overhead facilities located in target areas as defined in the section "Designation of Target Areas of Title 21.90.060C." The target areas emphasize locations that would benefit significant numbers of people. Some of the areas specifically listed are: central business areas, major traffic corridors, parks and recreational areas, and school and university areas.

Project List

The list of undergrounding projects to be performed in the years 2024 to 2028.

The Complete Undergrounding Plan contains the project summary sheets and maps of the project location.