Idaho Power will continue to work with landowners to ensure you have access and use of your land during the eventual construction and maintenance of the line. We can also explore the options for micro-siting (modifications within the Proposed Order's site boundary) the locations of the transmission towers and roads to minimize impacts, while still complying with all state and federal requirements.
Idaho Power has been and continues to be committed to working with landowners and local stakeholders during the environmental review and permitting processes to site a route that maximizes benefits and minimizes impacts to land uses, production areas, roads, natural terrain, and structures. In fact, Idaho Power revised the original B2H path that was proposed in 2008 in response to community input. The revised route avoids more Exclusive Farm Use land, avoids the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center's viewshed as much as possible, minimizes impacts to cities, and parallels an existing 500-kilovolt transmission line for approximately 38 miles.
Eminent domain is an option of last resort when all other options have been unsuccessful.
The Oregon Public Utility Commission can allow a public-regulated utility like Idaho Power to use eminent domain to acquire a right-of-way. However, the utility must go through a legal process to prove that it was not possible for the landowner and utility to come to an agreement. In a case like this, independent appraisers, through the court, would determine a fair price for Idaho Power to pay for use of your land.
Idaho Power prefers to work collaboratively with landowners to establish easments that minimize impacts to the landowner while providing fair compensation.
Yes, you would be compensated for the right of way, regardless of how it is acquired. Idaho Power's right-of-way agents will work directly with you to negotiate compensation. The value of the right-of-way is determined using several different sources, including the assessor's records, current land value, appraisals of similar properties in the area and local comparable sales. If the acquisition process proceeds through the court, the court determines the compensation.
You will be compensated with a one-time payment in return for granting access to build, operate and maintain the power line. Because you still own the property, you may use the ground within the right-of-way as desired, while honoring the negotiated terms of the easment.
Idaho Power will work with individual landowners to coordinate the timing of construction to minimize short-term impacts to agriculture. Over the long term, most agricultural activities, including pivot irrigation, can proceed with the transmission line in place.
As the landowner, you can restrict access to anyone; however, Idaho Power's right-of-way allows Idaho Power employees and contractors to access the line at any time unless otherwise negotiated in the easment agreement.
Idaho Power's only restriction across the right-of-way is the height of immediately adjacent structures. Nothing greater than 20 feet tall will be permitted directly under the line. For safety reasons, Idaho Power recommends that no structure should be located where there is potential for contact with the transmission line wire.
Yes, counties and cities that B2H crosses, including in Eastern Oregon, will benefit from:
- Increased tax revenue - The project owners will pay property tax to each county the line crosses.
- Jobs and economic development opportunities - B2H will make room for more electricity on local power lines to support new power-intensive businesses like data centers and food processing plants. B2H will also bring construction jobs and spending to the region.
- The video below explains the benefits B2H will bring in more detail: