Will OPPD pay lease/rent or provide a perpetual payment after the project is complete?
The land will be appraised once by OPPD. The certified appraiser will consider fair market value of the property at the time of the appraisal. Landowners may also obtain an independent appraisal. In both cases, easement will be a one-time payment, and the landowner will retain ownership rights to the property. This approach is consistent with the electric utility industry standard to pay a one-time payment as just compensation for the acquisition of easement areas.
Is OPPD profiting from these new transmission lines?
OPPD is a not-for-profit, public entity that provides reliable, affordable and safe electricity. Revenues are reinvested back into the utility. Public power entities support local economies by providing jobs, tax contributions and supporting policies that safeguard the environment.
Once easement acquisition negotiations begin, how long are offers valid?
Negotiations do not have specific expiration dates; however, OPPD is attempting to acquire easements between November 2021 and March 2022. For questions regarding easement acquisition, please reach out to your respective Right-of-Way Coordinator for property-specific questions. You may also contact OPPD via the project page at OPPDCommunityConnect.com, by calling the OPPD Land Management hotline at (531) 226-3062 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
What is the schedule and sequence of construction?
Construction is anticipated to begin in May 2022 and continue through June 2023. As seen on the project area map, construction will start with the transmission line farthest east (Line 186, green), then west (Line 184, yellow), then center (Line 183/185, blue). Construction phases for each transmission line will overlap.
Are these transmission lines being constructed for the nearby data centers?
No, these transmission lines are connected to OPPD’s power grid serving Turtle Creek Station, the site of one of OPPD’s backup natural gas generation facilities. The transmission lines connect to OPPD substations and support customer load growth and future power generation.
Are there restrictions to farming around the structures?
Farming under electric lines is common practice. OPPD does not restrict farming in right-of-way easements, so landowners may farm as close to the structures as they can safely operate. You should be able to operate and move farm equipment under and around transmission wires and structures without concern. However, it can be detrimental to the operator, equipment and the structure if struck. If you have any questions or concerns about your equipment or operations, please contact OPPD via the project page at OPPDCommunityConnect.com, call the OPPD Land Management hotline at (531) 226-3062 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the structure has been installed, what happens if damages occur?
OPPD will pay for damages that may occur due to construction, maintenance, repair, storms, etc. In the event of damage, a Right-of-Way Coordinator would be in contact with the landowner or tenant to reach an agreement on the amount of loss and make repairs. An independent contractor may be considered in this assessment.
Are landowners still able to retain tenants and/or cash rent? Do tenants need to be notified?
Yes, landowners may retain tenants and continue with cash rent agreements. Notification depends on the agreement between the landowner and tenant; however, OPPD does plan to contact both, as appropriate, to coordinate property access.
How will transmission lines affect my property value in the future?
OPPD cannot predict property valuation, but there are many instances across our service area where power lines and transmission lines coexist with residential, recreational and commercial/industrial areas.
How many transmission lines have been routed for this project?
There will be three separate transmission lines needed for this project. All three will originate at the Turtle Creek Station. The three final route alignments for these transmission lines can be seen on the project area map, ‘Final Route 1 (Line 184)’ is yellow, ‘Final Route 2 (Line 183/185)’ is blue, and ‘Final Route 3 (Line 186)’ is green.
Was the community involved in determining the location of the transmission lines?
OPPD provided opportunities for all members of the public to provide input through the project page at OPPDCommunityConnect.com, and through two rounds of online public meetings. OPPD also worked with local leaders, agencies and stakeholders to help understand community impacts.
How will I know if my property will be impacted?
In September, all landowners directly impacted by permanent easements received a certified letter inviting them to a public hearing held on October 5, 2021. Right-of-way coordinators continue to work with landowners through the easement acquisition process to answer questions and address concerns.
What is an easement?
An easement is an interest in land that permits the use of that land for a specific purpose. In this case, the project’s easement would permit OPPD to construct, operate and maintain overhead transmission lines. The easement also permits the trimming and removal of trees and other vegetation within the easement to prevent them from coming into contact with power lines.
How are transmission line easement widths determined?
Many factors determine the width of transmission line easements, including voltage, wire movements due to wind, structure design, and location of the lines in proximity to existing roadways. Lines carrying higher voltages require greater widths to ensure proper clearances. Transmission lines along roadways use the road right-of-way as part of the easement width. Easement widths will be approximately 100 feet, or 50 feet on each side of the center line, but there may be exceptions based on final line design. Roadside transmission lines are indicated on final route alignments as part of the project area map.
What will transmission poles/structures look like?
Structures will be Double Circuit 345 kV/161 kV Monopoles, which average 165 feet in height and Single Circuit 161 kV Monopoles, which average 125 feet in height. The exact size and spacing will be determined in final line design.
Will trees be cut down during construction?
Trees and power lines are not compatible. OPPD will remove trees within the easement and trees in danger of falling within 15 feet of the power line. Every effort will be made to minimize impacts to trees and vegetation, but some trees and brush will need to be cleared to prepare for construction.