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Tri-State and Xcel Energy use an open and comprehensive process when siting transmission lines that considers electric system planning, economics, the environment, public involvement, regulatory issues, land rights, and engineering input.
The project area was based on two interconnection points identified in the Alternative Evaluation study and from there preliminary alternative corridors were established during the preparation of the Macro Corridor Study.
The utilities are currently working to address specific concerns identified by the public and, since 2009, have worked on refining, adding, or eliminating preliminary alternative corridors and alternative routes. Additional public comments, stakeholder concerns from route refinement workshops and additional scoping meetings will help with final route selection. From there, a preferred route and a select number of feasible alternatives will be identified for analysis in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The RUS will issue guidance regarding the range of system-level and routing alternatives to be considered in the EIS
The routing process followed for this project not only considers the environmental impacts of proposed projects but also places great importance on working with the public and key stakeholders.
Once a route is selected and the necessary land use permits have been obtained from federal, state and local government agencies, Tri-State and Xcel Energy would work directly with affected landowners and other stakeholders to acquire the necessary power line and access easements for the project.
Siting and Permitting
This fact sheet identifies the steps used by the utilities in siting and permitting transmission line routes
An easement is a permanent right authorizing a utility to use the land or property to build and maintain a transmission line. Access easements would be needed for construction and long-term maintenance of the transmission line. To assist with transmission line engineering and design, the companies and utilities would acquire temporary access or survey permission from landowners.
A right-of-way is the land area that would be acquired by a utility for a transmission line. The right-of-way for the project would vary, and is developed based upon several factors including the voltage of the transmission line, structure spacing, conductor tension, operational safety, and maintainability. Safety requirements are determined by the National Electric Safety Code.
Tri-State and Xcel Energy would use market data from recent sales of similar properties to determine fair and appropriate compensation. Every effort to reach a fair and reasonable settlement will be made. When negotiations are unsuccessful, which is rare, the companies may have to exercise eminent domain authority.
Working with Landowners
How the utilities will work with affected landowners and other stakeholders to acquire the necessary power line and access easements for the project
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