Working with Landowners
Building relationships with Klamath County residents was critical to the successful Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing of the Swan Lake Energy Storage Project. We will continue to make ourselves available to you directly or through local contractors to answer your questions and address your concerns as the project moves into the next phase of development.
Transmission Line Easement
Renewable electricity stored at the facility would be transmitted from the powerhouse along a 32.8-mile-long, 230-kilovolt (kV) aboveground transmission line to interconnect with the Malin Substation. A transmission easement will be necessary to support this project feature. See project location page for more information.
Engineering and environmental surveys were completed to evaluate project location alternatives including alternate transmission routes to determine a project footprint with the least overall impact to landowners, environmental, and cultural resources. During the Pre-Application studies, which began in 2010, the development team initiated environmental surveys, hosted open houses/meetings, and participated in local events, all to encourage open discussion with community members, landowners, and public agencies about the design of the proposed energy storage project. These studies, meetings, and hundreds of comments filled with the FERC generated valuable feedback that helped shape the project, as proposed in the October 2015 application filed with FERC.
The proposed route has been carefully designed to utilize existing corridors when possible; to avoid sensitive or protected areas when feasible; and to limit surface disturbance and minimize the overall environmental footprint.
Transmission easements are a common legal agreement to use lands for the purposes of constructing and maintaining project transmission equipment. Easements provide a legal right to use a certain portion of property for a very specific purpose, but ownership of the land and legal title to the lands remain with the landowner. Once construction is complete the landowner can resume grazing, irrigating, farming or other activities with few restrictions.
The project will compensate landowners for an easement to construct and maintain 230-kilovolt (kV) aboveground transmission line. The amount of paid to landowners is based on the total acreage affected, any site-specific impacts resulting from the construction of the transmission line, and the land’s fair market value. The maximum width of the easement is 300 feet or 150 feet on either side of the centerline. Permanent disturbance of existing uses would be limited to the footprint of the transmission poles. The FERC construction and operational License requires the project to pay for restoration of large portions of the temporarily disturbed areas within the transmission line corridor in addition to providing monetary compensation to landowners.
The project will negotiate an easement for the transmission corridor as described in the FERC License from landowners in a professional and equitable manner based on established right-of-way procedures in the State of Oregon. During the negotiation process we will work diligently to resolve landowner concerns through a collaborative and mutually beneficial approach using contractors, appraisers, and other local real estate professionals.