Advanced Topics in Underground Distribution Systems (APPA) 

blue bar illustrator horizontal


May 3, 2019 (8:00 am - 3:30 pm)    |    NEPPA Training Center (Littleton, MA) 


NEPPA has partnered with the American Public Power Association to bring the Advanced Topics in Underground Distribution Systems training in-house.   


Who Should Attend?

This course is designed as a follow-up to the Underground Distribution Systems course, and is suitable for anyone responsible for, or who make decisions concerning, distribution systems including but limited to:

  • Electric utility engineers
  • Designers
  • Technicians
  • Field Personnel
  • Anyone involved in the management, construction or operations of distribution systems



Course Overview


Learn how to improve your utility’s policies, standards, and practices for planning, designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining underground distribution and hear about current and emerging industry trends.



Recommended CEUs / PDHs / CPEs


Recommended CEUs .6/PDHs 6.25/CPEs 7

Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge


Course Topics


  • Making the decision between overhead and underground distribution alternatives, including customer expectations
  • Complying with federal and state laws and regulations governing underground distribution design
  •  Complying with state laws and regulations for the ethical practice of engineering in underground distribution design
  •  Developing and applying consistent design protocols and documentation (design criteria, construction standards, design documentation, engineering reports, and records management policies/practices)
  • The line design process and how to improve it
  • Ensuring long-life cable installations
  • State-of-the-art cable specification and purchasing
  • Cable handling and installation (including cable pulling calculations)
  • Extending the life of in-service cable through improved testing, overcurrent and overvoltage protection and thermal loading
  • Prioritizing capital and operating expenditures
  • Current and emerging industry trends




Click to download the detailed agenda.



Day 1 - May 3, 2019

8:00 am Introductions & Objectives

8:15 am Underground Distribution Practices, Costs, and Benefits

Underground distribution practices

Public expectations for undergrounding

Underground distribution costs and benefits

8:45 am Long-Life Cable Installations

Cable features and specifications

Cable applications

9:45 am Break

10:00 am Long-Life Cable Installations

Cable Installation & Exercise

Public power examples

11:00 am Long-Life Cable Installations

Ensuring Long-Life Cable Installations (continued)

In-Service Cable Testing

Cable Overvoltage Protection

12:00 pm Lunch

12:45 pm Underground Electrical Loads and Services

Load estimating

Service voltage requirements

1:45 pm Break

2:00 pm Underground Electrical Loads and Services

Underground distribution transformers

Underground commercial service exercise

Selected topics (chosen by participants)

3:15 pm Discussion, Course Evaluation & Wrap Up

3:30 pm Course Adjourns





Registration fees include coffee, baked goods and lunch each day. 


Members: $495

Non-Members: $945


Register now red button




Cancellations are accepted until Friday, April 12, 2019. Substitutions may be made at any time.





M. Thomas Black, P.E., Management Consultant, Collaborative Learning, Inc.

Tom Black is an accomplished executive manager, engineer, educator and consultant with over 30 years of experience in the utility industry. He is currently an independent consultant and course instructor in the electric and gas utility industry. His experience includes both municipal (Colorado Springs and City of Fountain, CO) and Investor owned (Progress Energy) utilities across multiple jurisdictions in Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. His range of experience in the utility industry covers 30 years and includes planning and engineering, standards, construction and maintenance manager, energy delivery general manager and chief energy officer responsible for all aspects of energy supply, electric transmission and distribution and gas distribution. Tom has extensive executive level experience in managing electric and gas utility systems. He has served on the boards of RMEL and the Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities CAMU and is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He received his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis with honors and is a registered professional engineer in Colorado and Arizona.




Lodging is not included in your registration fees and must be arranged directly with the hotel. If you need overnight accommodations, please contact any of the following hotels directly and be sure to mention you’re with NEPPA (or the appropriate code/account number) to receive the negotiated rate:


Courtyard by Marriott, Boston – Littleton -  $155/night + tax

102 Constitution Avenue

Littleton, MA 01460

(978) 440-5040

Click here to make your reservation online.


The Westford Regency Inn & Conference Center - $116/night + tax

219 Littleton Road

Westford, MA 01886

(978) 692-8200

Click here to make your reservation online using the Rate Access Code: NEPPA.


SpringHill Suites Devens Common Center - $129/night + tax

27 Andrews Parkway

Devens, MA 01434

(978) 772-3030

Click here to make your reservation online using the Group Code: BZL.



Questions? Don't hesitate to call the office at (978) 540-2200 or contact Sarah Elise Klingler, Director of Education & Programs at


blue bar illustrator horizontal