Winter 2011 - Spring 2012
- Survey work - Feb. through May
- Easement negotation begins - June
Fall 2012 - Construction in progress
Summer 2015 - Anticipated in-service date
We normally acquire an easement for new transmission lines. Landowners are contacted and provided with the location, length and width of the easement, and general construction details. Negotiation for the easement is based on fair market value of the easement for the new transmission line.
In addition to compensation for the easement, we will pay for any crop or physical damages to property resulting from the construction and maintenance of the transmission line. Crop damages are based upon current market prices and expected yields in the area. We will control brush and trees within the easement area, and the landowner is not responsible for any injury to people or property caused by the design, construction or maintenance of the transmission line.
Landowners will be contacted individually for easement rights and access to the easement area. Construction of the new transmission line will be done after the landowner has been informed of the work and expected duration of the project. We will work with the landowner following the completion of construction to inspect the easement and ensure proper restoration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this line needed?
The project has been established to reduce congestion on the region's transmission system and provide essential transmission capacity for long-term efficient delivery of energy to our customers and our region. Additionally, the project will provide an alternate route during emergencies and greater service reliability for the northwest Missouri area.
What is the Southwest Power Pool?
The Southwest Power Pool is a Regional Transmission Organization, mandated by the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission, which supervises and coordinates power supplies, transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale prices of electricity.
Why has an additional segment been added?
Based on feedback from the public, the project team looked at several suggested alternatives. While most were determined to be inadequate, segment 62 was added to the other segments to be evaluated.
What are the criteria for making the final determination?
The criteria for the final route include impact to the environment, proximity to homes and businesses, existing right-of-way versus new right-of-way, and cost. Public input is also considered when making the final determination.
How will the line be paid for?
This economic transmission expansion upgrade project will be shared by customers of Southwest Power Pool member utilities in nine states.
When is the new line needed?
The line is expected to be in service by year-end 2015.
If I am a co-op customer, how will this project benefit me?
The additional transmission capacity will reduce the need for co-op customers to pay for additional transmission to relieve congestion on co-op lines.
How long will this line be?
Depending on the route selected, the line will be approximately 30-40 miles long.
What will the transmission line look like?
We will use single-pole, twin-pole (H-frame), or a combination of these structure types.
What size are the wires?
The shield wires at the top of the poles will be about 1/2 inch in diameter. We will use two shield wires on single-pole structures and on H-frame structures. The bare aluminum wires will be about one inch in diameter, and typically we will have six wires attached to each structure with insulators.
How high are the wires?
At least 25 feet of clearance will be provided from the ground to the lowest wire.
What land owners will be approached about easements for the power line?
Once a final route for the power line is selected, representatives of KCP&L's contractor will contact property owners along the route to acquire easements.
What is an easement?
An easement is an interest in land purchased by KCP&L, which permits the use of that land for a specific purpose. In this case, KCP&L's easement would permit construction, operation and maintenance of an overhead transmission power line. The easement also permits the trimming and removal of trees within the easement to prevent them from touching the line.
If an easement is purchased and the power line is built, will there be any restrictions on the use of my property?
The existence of a transmission line easement restricts some possible uses for the property. Acceptable uses within the easement areas include planting crops, pasture, roadways, curbs and gutters. The two most common restrictions would include prohibiting construction of permanent structures or buildings within the easement area and restrictions on planting trees that may grow into the lines.
Will KCP&L trim trees on my property?
KCP&L must maintain adequate clearances for the transmission power lines in order to provide safe and reliable operations for our customers. In fact, under the authority of our federal regulators, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), KCP&L and other utilities must meet mandatory reliability standards governing the vegetation clearance practices of transmission lines. A disruption of a transmission line can cause significant power outages on the electric system so these vegetation and clearance rules exist to ensure that there is safe and reliable operation of the electric system.
KCP&L employs an Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) approach to maintaining vegetation around power lines. IVM approved methods for maintaining vegetation around KCP&L's power lines include trimming and removal of obstructions, mowing and trimming around power lines and herbicide applications.
As a part of best management practices, KCP&L incorporates the Wire Border Zone Concept in its vegetation management practices. The Wire Border Zone Concept encourages lower-growing vegetation under the wire zone and allows for a gradual increase in vegetation heights to the sides of the wire zone. All vegetation management work around KCP&L power lines is performed by crews that are trained and certified to work near energized power lines.
How are transmission line easement widths determined?
Many factors enter into determining the width of transmission lines, including voltage capacity, structure design and location of the line with proximity to existing roadways. Typically lines carrying larger capacities require greater widths to ensure proper clearances from other improvements. Transmission structure design usually consists of either single poles, wooden or steel, or "H-frame" structures (also either wooden or steel). Single poles require less easement width than H-frame or twin-pole structures. Transmission lines are often located next to existing roadway, allowing the roadway to absorb part of the easement width.
How many poles will be on our property?
The average distance between poles should be between 500 to 1,000 feet, and poles will be located at all turns in the line.
How close to the easement can I construct a building?
Buildings, even very tall buildings, are allowed right up to the edge of the easement. KCP&L has no authority to limit construction outside the easement area. All this is taken into consideration when determining the easement widths.
What will KCP&L do if they damage my property?
KCP&L construction crews work conscientiously to avoid damage to properties during construction or maintenance. Once crews have completed the construction or maintenance, additional crews will return to bring the land back to a condition as near original as possible. If there are damages that cannot be repaired, for example, crop losses, we will compensate the property owner for these losses.
Will KCP&L allow others to use the easement?
No. KCP&L is asking for rights to construct our transmission line including communication rights exclusive for our company needs. KCP&L is not in the business of acquiring easements and peddling those rights to other companies, a practice that is common among cable television providers and water districts.
How long will the easement exist; will it ever terminate?
Transmission line easements are permanent and recorded at the Recorder of Deeds Office in the County Courthouse, making them a matter of public record.
Will KCP&L pay my legal fees if I consult an attorney regarding the easement?
Landowners may seek advice from anyone they wish regarding KCP&L's acquisition of an easement, including an attorney. However, the landowner is responsible for the payment of any fees.
Can KCP&L obtain an easement if I do not agree to one?
KCP&L will make every effort to reach an agreement to purchase easements through negotiations. On rare occasions these negotiations do not prove fruitful. At those times public utilities have the right to acquire the easement through eminent domain. Transmission line projects are an important element of providing reliable power to the community.
What demand-side management or energy-efficiency programs does KCP&L currently offer?
KCP&L offers several energy efficiency programs for business and residential customers. Information and details are available at www.kcpl.com.
Could demand-side management or energy-efficiency programs have eliminated the need to build this line?
No. This line will provide addition flexibility and redundancy to ensure adequate and reliable power for the surrounding area.
Has the final route been selected?
The final route has not been selected. This route will be compared to all other routes when making the final determination.