Working with Landowners

Siting new transmission lines requires an open and comprehensive process that involves various factors: electric system planning, economics, the environment, public involvement, regulatory issues, land rights, and engineering input.

The project area is based on three interconnection points - the existing Shiprock Substation near Farmington, N.M., the proposed Kiffen Canyon Substation to be located in the Glade area of New Mexico, north of Highway 574, and the proposed Iron Horse Substation near Ignacio, Colo.. Once the study area was defined, preliminary alternative corridors were established from a detailed environmental and land use analysis called a Macro Corridor Study.

Due to the need for federal agency decisions to be made on the proposed project, the project is subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA requires detailed analysis of potential impacts from the project in order to aid the agencies in their decision making process.

Tri-State will conduct detailed studies and evaluate specific concerns identified by the public as part of the siting or routing process. The preliminary corridors identified in the Macro Corridor Study will be refined, added to, or deleted and preliminary alternative routes will be identified. Additional public comments and stakeholder concerns gathered later in the route refinement process will help make additional adjustments to alternative routes. Ultimately, a preferred route will be identified along with a select number of feasible alternatives to carry forward in the NEPA analysis.

Once a route is selected and the necessary land use permits have been obtained from federal, state and local government agencies, Tri-State would work directly with affected landowners and other stakeholders to acquire the necessary power line and access easements for the project.

Easement Acquisition and Survey Permission

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 consultants would acquire temporary access or survey permissions 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 be 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 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 Tri-State will work with affected landowners and other stakeholders to acquire the necessary power line and access easements for the project

Project Benefits

The proposed project would:

  • Improve the power delivery infrastructure to Colorado and New Mexico's San Juan Basin
  • Increase the load serving capabilities for residential, small business, and industrial electric consumers (including oil and gas developers)
  • Relieve transmission constraints for the region
  • Provide a pathway for potential renewable energy development

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