While it may seem as easy as simply drawing a line from point A to point B on a map, selecting a transmission line route is far more complicated. Because we know routing decisions affect individuals and communities across Georgia, a significant amount of time and effort goes into evaluating possible routes for new power lines. At Georgia Transmission, we not only spend time behind the desk analyzing technical data, we also put boots on the ground to study historic and environmental conditions. We use a nationally recognized siting process, partnering with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and a broad range of stakeholders to ensure we make sound decisions supported by thoughtful reasoning. The siting process takes into consideration various factors relevant to specific communities and projects including existing transportation and utility corridors, existing land usage, existing environmental conditions, engineering practices and cost of construction, and operation and maintenance of the proposed project.
Next, our teams work to identify alternative corridors by collecting data and dividing larger areas into smaller sections so they can evaluate co-location opportunities, engineering challenges and the impact of new lines to both communities and the natural environment. Having organized the study area, engineers and planners collaborate to identify specific routes for the new lines and narrow down the options. Throughout the process, we capture the data and insights on a suitability map. With a list of possible routes, we evaluate the options and select a practicable and feasible path. We then gather on-site data by visiting the site to assess the environmental, economic and community impact of any new construction and other on-site considerations.
In addition to the work we do on our end, we also gather input from the community. Public meetings, discussions with elected officials, and one-on-one talks with property owners are a key part of the process to make a thoughtful decision – a decision that addresses energy needs in the community while minimizing overall impact. Our emphasis is on serving our communities as good neighbors. For more information, see our siting methodology fact sheet here.