Idaho Power is committed to working with landowners during the environmental review process and during construction and maintenance of the line.
Idaho Power seeks to acquire rights of way for transmission lines through mutual agreement with property owners for the use of their property. The following tools may be used to acquire rights-of-way:
- Easements give the utility company the right to use the land owned by the individual for a specific purpose. Most commonly, negotiations directly with private property owners determine easement rights and restrictions for using portions of the land that remain owned by the individual.
- Permitting occurs when the utility applies for a permit to place the facility across public lands.
- Eminent domain is an option of last resort when all other options have been unsuccessful. In this case, the utility company may exercise its right to use the easement or property through court actions. Independent appraisers, through the court, will determine a fair price to be paid for the land.
Property owners are compensated for rights of way regardless of how they are acquired. If the acquisition process proceeds through the court, the court determines the compensation. The value of the right of way is determined using several different sources, including the assessor's records, an appraiser’s corridor study and local comparable sales.
Landowners have the right to restrict access to the easements. However, the easement allows Idaho Power employees to access the line as needed to operate and maintain the transmission line. Idaho Power has easement restrictions to ensure that a safe distance from the transmission line is always observed.
For more information about rights-of-way, compensation and how Idaho Power works with landowners, view the Working with Landowners brochure (PDF, 736 KB).
Idaho Power will work with landowners as much as possible in locating the facilities on the property to ensure the continued use of their land.
Idaho Power will also work with farmers to reduce impacts to agriculture, such as coordinating the timing of construction to minimize short-term impacts. Over the long term, most agricultural activities can proceed with the transmission line in place. For more information about transmission lines and agriculture, view our Working with Your Agricultural Operation Brochure (PDF, 296 KB).